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County combines middle school soccer teams

Middle schools in Washington County will no longer have their own, individual soccer teams.
At the Jan. 3 meeting of the Board of Education, members unanimously approved a recommendation from the Athletics Committee to combine the 10 middle schools into four teams.
“Soccer participation has not been the highest. At Jonesborough (Middle School), for example, one year they ahd 20 kids and the next year they had seven,” said Todd Ganger, chairman of the Athletics Committee. “Joining schools will hopefully get us one solid team between two or three schools and we’re hoping it will improve our high school teams.”
Students playing soccer from Grandview, West View and South Central schools will now be known as Pioneer West. Students playing from Jonesborough and Lamar schools will go by Pioneer East.
At the west end of the county, students from Ridgeview, Sulphur Springs and Fall Branch will now play as Blazer West. Kids participating from Gray and Boones Creek schools will go by Blazer East.
Prior to voting, Jack Leonard, a school board member, questioned whether everyone who wanted to participate would be allowed on the team.
“Will there be kids cut?” he asked. “A whole school could be left out. I’m thinking about South Central — their kids could be cut and their school wouldn’t be represented.”
Ganger said it was an unlikely situation that ever child trying out from one school would be cut.
“It will be up to the coach about how many he wants to (have on the team),” Ganger said. “You’re looking at carrying 25-30 kids. We’re hoping to get that many (wanting to participate).”
The combining of teams is expected to cost the school system approximately $4,800 to get new uniforms. It will, however, save on travel costs for games, Ganger said.