Tier 2 Sports Teams in Budget Trouble at Steamboat Springs High School
Steamboat Springs is located in a beautiful valley far enough away from metropolitan areas that it’s safe to say no one moves here with any delusions of being able to make a quick trip to the mall, or Costco or Target for that matter. Every once in a while living in your corner of paradise can be a negative, and that seems to be the case with the Steamboat Springs High School athletic budget. As budget money everywhere is cut and/or re-allocated, the reality has hit Steamboat Springs High School that the cost of shuttling athletes across the state to compete might be too much to field many of the teams next year.
Safe are the “Tier 1” Steamboat Springs’ high school sports that include football, soccer and basketball – these sports have always been funded by the Steamboat Springs school district. In limbo are the “Tier 2” sports which include tennis, cheerleading, Alpine and Nordic skiing (Ski Town USA?), lacrosse, hockey, golf, baseball and wrestling which were all self funded as recently as the 2007-2008 school year, but since then, had been receiving transportation funds and some coaching salary funding through a participation fee paid by all Steamboat Springs’ high school student athletes
What’s the budget gap? An additional $30,000 for 2012-2013 to keep the current funding system in place. Going back to self-funding would in all likelihood cause a decrease in participation, a burden on booster clubs and families who will have to pay out of pocket for their sons and daughters to participate in the self funded sports.
Of course options are being discussed, but it remains to be seen what the outcome will be. In a town where being active and fit is a way of life, it is almost unfathomable to think that a good number of our Steamboat Springs high school team sports might be dropped or scaled back to the point where they might as well be dropped from a competitive standpoint. If there’s any doubt that the Steamboat Springs community as a whole hasn’t suffered from recent economic times, this is another example that we are not immune to the troubles that many other communities and industries are facing.
Steamboat Springs has an amazing school system. It’s my hope that we can continue to offer an opportunity to Steamboat student athletes in a variety of sports. Lessons learned on a field, a course, a mat, a court, a diamond or a mountain are lessons that enrich and serve student athletes, and their sphere of influence, throughout their lives.