STMS has no plans to cut athletic programs |

STMS has no plans to cut athletic programs

Chad Sellmer, Tribune staff writer

South Tahoe Middle School athletics will not be on the chopping block for next school year, even though Lake Tahoe Unified School District administrators are looking to cut the district’s sports budget and Washoe County is considering doing away with middle school sports programs.

The Washoe County School District is considering a proposal to cut middle school sports there and LTUSD administrators have held two meetings this week to discuss contingency plans if other counties decide to eliminate their middle school sports.

South Tahoe High School athletic director Don Borges said various school administrators held an “information gathering” meeting Monday afternoon to discuss what might happen. The meeting included administrators, athletic directors and principals, he said, and was followed by a second meeting on Tuesday.

“Washoe County is having the big meeting, so we’ll see what happens there,” Borges said.

Ken Griest, assistant principal at STMS, said “we are not” planning to cut any middle school sports at this time.

“We don’t compete with Washoe schools, just with Douglas County and schools on the North Shore,” Griest said. “The issue is if others start cutting and we have no one to compete with then yes, we will make cuts. Our funding level looks to be about the same and we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to offer the same options as we offered this year.”

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Griest said that if the district’s tight budget does eventually mean elimination of middle school sports, other types of athletic activities would be offered to replace those lost.

“We would try to offer some sort of intramural plan, but at this point that is a backup,” he said. “I think we have the funding to (maintain) the status quo. The only thing that would change that at this point is if we don’t have anyone to compete with.”

The LTUSD school board will discuss various sports-related proposals, including a participation fee, at its next meeting May 13 beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the district office.