Board considers adding high school boys soccer

WATERVLIET — There may be another sport for Watervliet High School students to participate in next fall. 

Athletic Director Ken Dietz told the Watervliet school board Monday night that a group of residents submitted a proposal to the district to add a high school boys soccer program to the roster. 

He said Tom Isbrecht has been the leader behind implementing the program and already has more than 20 kids interested.

“Sustainability is the big thing and (Isbrecht) has provided a lot of numbers behind that,” Dietz said. “Now we’re at the collaboration stage, where myself, Isbrecht and the school board have got to collaborate to make this successful.”

Dietz said the district will need to find a permanent spot for the boys team, and the girls team, to practice and play.

He said that the girls high school soccer program, created in 2012, now practices on the football field because of some construction behind the high school that took away some green space. 

Dietz said for the first year, the kids could probably practice at North School. 

“In the long run we want to build this program and sustain it and make it something we’re proud of here,” he said. “It’s time we collaborate and build a facility. Something that’s going to make us proud to have a soccer program here. It’ll cost us a little money. Not a ton, but we just need to provide a great environment for these kids to be successful and want to be a part of this. That’s what makes a successful program.”

Dietz said his plan is to only schedule junior varsity games until the program is up and running. This is what was done when the girls program was started. 

He said jobs for coaches would be posted just like any other sport. 

A committee consisting of Dietz, High School Principal Brad Coon and Interim Superintendent John Jarpe examined the proposal and recommends that the school board approves the new soccer program. The school board will likely vote at its May meeting. 

In December 2017, the board approved a procedure for interested groups to approach the administration about possible new sports, which includes the review by the high school principal, athletic director and superintendent. 

During the summer of 2017, the board was approached by a group that wanted to add a middle school club soccer team. Even though the board ultimately approved it, school officials at the time said it was unorganized and false information was spread through the school community during the process.

Contact: anewman@TheHP.com, 932-0357, Twitter: @HPANewman