By Jeff Gallatin
A run of students onto the Bay Middle School cross country team has prompted the district to hire an additional coach for the coming school year.
At the Aug. 11 Bay Village Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Clint Keener said that the district had 87 students participating in the middle school cross county team program – up from 57 last year. He said because of the high turnout, head coach Kelly McCrone and assistants Kelley Rademaker and Manola Acosta (who split the hours for the assistant’s position) were not able to effectively coach all of them. Friday, Keener said middle school teacher and track coach Chris Brewer had agreed to come on as an additional coach.
“It’s a good problem to have, with this kind of participation,” Keener said. “But they can’t cover all of them, particularly if they are all spread out all over the course at a meet.”
Keener said with that high a number, not all the students would be able to participate in activities and meets without the additional coach.
“We like to encourage students to participate in activities and sports, and when you have this kind of turnout, you want to support their being involved,” he said.
Keener told board members it would be a relatively low cost.
“It’s not like some other sports,” he said. “There’s not a lot of equipment or other costs. Basically, you line up your team and let them run. This is a good thing, because running is not (only) a good choice for sport, it’s a good life choice. Even if they never participate in a team the rest of their life, these students can go out and run and help them stay healthy the rest of their lives.”
Keener said he isn’t surprised by the high participation.
“When you look at the high school students, 70 percent of our students are involved in at least one sport,” he said.
Keener said hiring an additional coach would only cost that person’s supplemental salary and some transportation costs for taking additional team members to meets.
Board members were supportive of finding a way keep the students involved and hiring the additional coach.
“What is that, close to our entire seventh and eighth grade, it’s great that we have that many students wanting to be involved,” said Bob Piccirilli, board vice president and a former cross country coach.
Keener said Friday he was pleased Brewer would be coaching.
“He’s a track coach and phys ed teacher at the school, so he already knows the students and they know him,” Keener said. “He’s a good coach and will be good for them.”
Keener said Brewer’s supplemental contract for the work would be about $2,200.