SES adds Waldron Club Football as an ECA sport | Sports
The Shelby Eastern School Board has approved the addition of Waldron Club Football as an extracurricular activity sport (ECA or club).
This was tabled at last month’s meeting because the board had questions about insurance.
“The Indiana Football Coaches Association is sponsoring a pilot for 8-a-side football,” Superintendent Todd Hitchcock said. “We have a group of students at Waldron who are excited to be a part of this. So as a school and as a district, we’re trying to figure out how we should manage and support this. There’s a lot to consider both sides and we’ve had a good discussion about it.
“What’s on the table today is considering a motion to make it a club sport, so they’re not officially sponsored by the athletic department yet, but it would give them the ability to operate under our insurance umbrella. and to give the board some authority over coaching, to make sure there are background checks in place for volunteer coaches,” he continued.
This idea was first presented to the board in November by Corey Barton and Randy Dewhurst. Barton coaches an elementary team in Waldron and Dewhurst coaches a team in Morristown. Currently, playing kids can only play until sixth grade because there were no middle and high school club teams.
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With the approval of the board of directors on Wednesday evening, it is now possible.
Board member Jason Redd said 85 kids of all skill levels signed up to play club football at the Freedom Fest car show. About 21 of these children would play at the secondary level, which is enough to participate in the pilot program.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for the kids, and we can keep those kids safe,” Redd said.
Board member Jason Yantiss confirmed: “There are a lot of kids who don’t necessarily fit into other sports, but there’s room for everyone in football. there are a lot of happy faces I can see at camp this week.”
Although it was unanimously approved, the board expressed concern about going this route.
“I’m not opposed to them being added as a club sport or opposed to them wanting to play something we don’t have to offer, but the struggle I have with it doesn’t imply too much that this is going to be a transition, that this is just the first step and that we guarantee this is the future we are heading towards. I don’t feel comfortable making that statement,” Ben said. Kuhn, member of the board of directors.
Board member Brandon Kleine agreed, “Our listing is about me, taking away other sports that we already support that are sanctioned by the IHSAA.”
The board discussed the need for clubs not to schedule games and training in addition to IHSAA sports. The two active fall sports he could come into conflict with are tennis and cross country, and Hitchcock said coaches are already coordinating schedules.
“I think we have to make sure that our sporting directors talk to those football club coaches, that [club] practices are not mandatory,” Redd added. “If it’s an IHSAA-sanctioned event, that takes precedence. We can’t penalize them by saying, ‘Well, you can’t play the next game because you missed four practices.'”
Yantiss added that the 8-player pilot program is only for four games.
Additionally, while it allows clubs to operate under the school district’s insurance umbrella, it costs SES nothing other than the slight increase in insurance.
The coaches are volunteers and the teams fundraise for their own equipment. The clubs are also autonomous for transportation.