Friday, June 5, 2009
Sports program flourishes at CCHS
“Participation on an athletic team is a rewarding experience which requires students to commit their time, energy and spirit,” said Athletic Director Barry Haley at the May 26 meeting of the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC). Haley shared his philosophy and goals for the Concord-Carlisle Regional High School (CCHS) sports program.
Haley’s goals include getting as many students as possible to experience the benefits of being on a team, to develop athletic skills, to realize the connection between physical conditioning and good health and to develop sportsmanship and self-discipline. He commented that when he left to attend the meeting, some 300 kids were out on the fields playing.
“The [athletic] program is in wonderful shape,” He said. “There are 31 varsity sports and 56 teams at the high school. Seven-hundred and forty-one students participate in at least one or more athletic seasons…The majority of our kids are multi-sport athletes,” said Haley, pointing out that 30 of the 32 lacrosse players play other sports.
RSC member Louis Salemy commented that it is very competitive to get on varsity and JV teams. “We try to be inclusive. We cut only when we have to,” said Haley. He explained, “Coaches decide who will play at the varsity level based upon their assessment of an athlete’s skills, commitment and attitude.” Haley hopes to expand intramural sports such as boys’ volleyball and noted that intramural Ultimate Frisbee is popular.
Haley mentioned many team accolades. The girls varsity fencing team was undefeated and won the State Championship. The boys varsity golf team also won the Division II State Championship. Varsity boys and girls soccer teams and the varsity field hockey team made it to the state tournament.
Many teams won the Dual County League: varsity volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys nordic skiing, girls nordic skiing, boys alpine skiing and varsity girls basketball. The varsity boys ice hockey team won the DCL Championship and reached the Division II North Finals. Varsity girls ice hockey, varsity girls basketball, varsity wrestling and the swim/dive team all qualified for the EMass Tourney.
“Seven of the eight spring teams won the Dual County League,” said Haley. These include boys and girls tennis, varsity softball, boys and girls track and field, and boys and girls lacrosse teams. He pointed out that 35 athletes from the track and field teams went on to the sectional meets.
CCHS has won the Dual County League Team Sportsmanship Award for both the fall and winter seasons, which is quite an honor. Haley praised the student athletes.
Fees, donations help cover costs
The total budget for the athletic program is $460,200. Coaches’ salaries are $335,000, a little over 70% of the athletic budget. Of the 65 coaches, 35 are CCHS or Concord Public School teachers. Transportation costs $55,000; the budget for game workers and officials is $27,000; rentals cost $19,500; and intramural sports have an $18,000 budget.
Currently, there is an athletic user fee of $125 per sport per student, with a $500 maximum or cap, per family. This user fee brings in $136,000. Athletic Gate Receipts bring in $20,000. Donations roughly tally $29,000. The total revenue is $185,000, roughly 40% of the athletic budget.
Haley agreed to fee increases in order to avoid major budget cuts as the RSC grapples with a half million dollar drop in state aid for the high school expected in FY10. The RSC discussed a $75 increase in athletic fees for the fall.
Haley gave a comparison of athletic user fees in the area. For instance, Acton-Boxboro has a $190 fee with a $760 cap, Bedford has no athletic fee, while Dover-Sherborn has a $250 fee with a $1,250 cap. Some school districts charge extra for sports that have high costs associated with them, such as renting ice time for ice hockey teams.
Athletic fees do not cover the full cost of the CCHS athletic program. Booster club funds sometimes pay for uniforms, assistant coaches and in some cases, banquets. There are 25 booster clubs that support specific sports at CCHS and Haley said, “Their support is crucial.”
Haley said, “I am very proud to be associated with the athletic program at CCHS.” Haley has been at CCHS for three years and obviously loves his job. He said, “I died and went to Concord.” ∆
© 2009 The