LCHS considers starting soccer in middle schools
By Jim Turner


Posted on January 1, 0001 12:00 AM



    For many years, some people have wanted Logan County High School to field interscholastic soccer teams. There was not enough support, however, at least in terms of students who actually committed to playing the sport when put up-or-shut up time came.
     A new effort is being made to start soccer in the system or to at least see if there is sufficient interest in it. The plan this time would be to start it in the middle schools and build the program up with a high school varsity team playing other schools in the fourth year of the program’s existence.
     The first step is public meetings. Athletic Director Hugh McReynolds says, “We will be having two public forums on the issue with students and parents of Logan County School district students who are currently enrolled in grades 5 - 10 on Monday, March 9 or Thursday, March 12. They will begin at 6 p.m. each of those evenings at LCHS.”
     McReynolds has outlined the steps that have been taken so far and the plans for the future. His report follows in its entirety.

Status Report
Soccer:  Logan County Schools
March 2009

NOTE:  Any action with regards to the development of any soccer program in the Logan County Schools rests with the Superintendent and the Logan County Board of Education.

This report represents work being done by Logan County High School’s Athletic Department:  Title IX / Gender Equity committee.

Author: Hugh McReynolds, CAA
Athletic Director

Historical Background

For the last 10 years, the Athletic Department at Logan County High School has completed a Title IX / Gender Equity audit of its athletic programs as required by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA).  During this audit process, the school is required to conduct a survey of students to determine if the school is meeting the needs/interests of its students with regards to opportunities for participation in interscholastic athletics.  Currently this survey is conducted on a bi-annual (every other year) basis.

Prior surveys have led to the creation of the sports of Cross Country, Swimming, Volleyball as well as Archery.  In addition various lower level sports teams in the areas of Cross Country, Golf, Football, Volleyball, Swimming, Tennis, Track, and Softball as interest levels have dictated have been established.

The most recent Title IX survey was completed during the 2007-08 school year.  The survey was distributed to students in grades 9-11 at Logan County High School and to 8th graders at the five feeder schools.  During the 2007-08 school year 1136 surveys were distributed with 957 (84.25%) returned.  With regards to soccer, 79 girls and 71 boys indicated that they had an interest in soccer.  

In examining the results of the survey, the Title IX / Gender Equity committee felt that this did not represent a significant number of students interested in soccer based on two factors.  

1) Results of Surveys done during the 2005-06 school year which yielded similar results but subsequent follow-up public meetings at night failed to demonstrate a significant interest in the establishment of a soccer program.  During the 05-06 audit similar numbers indicated interest yet when public meetings were held only 15 girls and 15 boys attended.  Age ranged from 5th grade to juniors.  With below 8thgrade not allowed to participate on a high school soccer team, committee felt that there was not sufficient interest.
2) Previous surveys have been consistent in the fact that when actually given the opportunity for participation only between 30-40% of those responding to the survey in a positive manner actually did try-out/participate.  This fact was true for cross country, swimming and girl’s volleyball.

When the KHSAA reviewed Logan County High School’s 2007-08 Title IX / Gender Equity report, they encouraged the school to conduct a follow-up to this survey during the 2008-09 school year with regards to soccer.  

NOTE:  THE KHSAA’s Title IX Auditor assigned to Logan County has changed since the 05-06 survey and follow-up.  Current auditor was unfamiliar with results of 05-06 work.  When informed it was suggested that school go ahead and follow-up to establish a baseline of information for future surveys and public questioning.

Title IX / Gender Equity Committee Follow-Up

At its Feb. 12, 2009 meeting, the Title IX / Gender Equity committee developed plans for conducting the requested follow-up to the 07-08 student survey, as recommended by the KHSAA.

The committees choose to conduct this survey in two phases.  

Phase 1:   This phase would involve an in-school meeting of freshmen and sophomores who would be interested in playing the sport of soccer.  During this meeting each student participating would be asked to complete an information sheet requesting the student’s name, grade, experience at soccer, and the amount of time willing to spend on the sport.  Students would be told that with soccer being a fall sport, they would have to make a choice between soccer and other sports offered in the fall.   THIS PART OF THE FOLLOW-Up WOULD TO BE DONE THE FIRST WEEK OF MARCH 2009.

Phase 2:  
This phase would consist of two public meetings held on separate nights publicized in the local media and at each of the Logan County schools for any student currently enrolled in grades 5-10 in the Logan County Schools.  At this meeting it is felt, the committee would get a greater level of interest in the development of a soccer program.   THIS PHASE HAS BEEN SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 9TH AND 12TH AT 6 PM EACH EVENING AT LCHS.

Action Plan

A its April 9th meeting the committee will review the results of the follow-up meetings and then make the necessary  recommendations that will be forward to the school’s principal, Site-Based Council, the Superintendent and ultimately the Logan County Board of Education.

Should sufficient interest be present, the committee has a plan in place to recommend to the above entities.  This plan would address the greatest concern on the part of the committee; that concern being the skill / experience level of students at the present time with regards to soccer and the present levels of experience of our future opponents.

The committee is well aware of the fact that at present there is limited soccer offered at any level within the boundaries of Logan County.  Some youth league soccer, Upward Bound soccer exists as well as one traveling team.  However, the committee feels that this would not necessarily provide enough students with a sufficient skill level to have a successful program against the competition Logan County High School would be asked to play against.

Therefore, the committee has developed the following model that is being proposed at this time should enough interest be shown in soccer and other areas of concern are adequately addressed.

YEAR 1: The establishment of a Middle School soccer program involving students in grades 5-8 at the five Logan County middle schools.  These students would be bused to the high school to practice/play as one group.  (NOTE:  Similar to what is done for Jr. High football.)  Their season would follow the calendar presently being used by our middle school volleyball and football programs.

YEAR 2: Middle School Program would continue.
Creation of a high school Freshmen/Junior-Varsity team composed mainly of the 8th graders (now freshmen) and any high school students interested in participating.

YEAR 3: Middle School Program would continue.
The continuation of a high school Freshmen/Junior-Varsity soccer team allowing for continued skill development.

YEAR 4: Middle School Program would continue.
The F/JV soccer team would continue and the creation of a Varsity soccer team at Logan County High School.

In following this model the committee felt it would offer the best opportunity to develop talent at a level to be competitive with other area high school soccer programs.  Many of which supplement their skill development with city/county parks and recreation programs, travel team programs as well as other skill development opportunities.  Programs which are presently limited in Logan County, especially for middle school age students.

Failure to have consistent numbers to support this plan could force the re-examination of timeline and/or implementation of any team as previously scheduled.

Concerns/Issues

· Skill level of students -vs- competition they would compete against.
· Changing interest and/or greater number of choices for involvement.
· Affect program would have on other already established programs both at the high school and middle school levels.
· Financial Issues
· Facility Issues
· Staffing




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