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Peabody-Burns board wants baseball, worries about student interest

Staff writer

Peabody-Burns wants to play ball, but it’s worried whether enough kids will join in.

Although the district has never fielded its own team, some officials are eager to start one.

“If we were to have a viable program — and it’s important to make sure it’s competitive — it could be a draw,” superintendent Ron Traxson said Monday.

But Traxson, like the ultimate umpires on the school board who will decide the sport’s fate, isn’t sure it’s possible.

One problem, explained at Monday night’s board meeting, is that if boys baseball were to be added, Title IX would require that girls softball be added, as well.

“I don’t see us being able to do softball,” Traxson said.

Interest in softball in the district’s public recreation program has been minimal. Only three girls reportedly signed up last year.

How baseball would impact track and field also is a concern.

“I see no way we can viably sustain this program and keep our track program somewhat in shape,” assistant principal Ray Savage said.

According to Savage, it would have cost $20,000 to start up a baseball program a decade ago. This would include paying for balls and equipment and hiring umpires.

Combining with another local school, such as Marion or Hillsboro, was thrown out as a suggestion, but Savage said all area schools already were cooperating with other districts or would be reluctant to move up 3A to a 4A with the addition of Peabody-Burns.

Board members decided to investigate the matter further and get estimates on prices and the number of students.

“I’m not saying I’m for or against it,” Traxson said.

In other business:

  • Donna Glover was voted in as a replacement board member. She replaces Alicia Morse, who resigned after being elected this spring because she had taken a new job.
  • The district’s staff picnic will be 6 p.m. Tuesday in the elementary school multipurpose room, an hour before the district’s annual budget hearing at the central office.

Last modified Aug. 12, 2015

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