by Jessica Andreatta
LA VETA — Redskins bleed red… that was the big issue at Monday night’s special meeting called by the school board for students, parents, and community members to give input on decisions that will be made at next Monday’s board meeting. The discussion was about whether or not to co-op some of the district sports program with other bordering schools.
With a good number of parents and students present, Superintendant Bree Lessar discussed enrollment numbers and the cold hard facts of what the district is up against. The high school enrollment this year is just 54 students, down from a more typical 70 to 75 students. Lessar also brought to the table that there are neighboring schools that are offering to co-op with La Veta.
The big issue facing La Veta this year was the number of kids who came out to play football. “It makes it awful hard to play eight-man football with around 10-12 boys.” There is just no way when you take into consideration injuries, ineligible players, and any other unforeseen circumstance that may arise.
Every two years, schools are asked to make decisions about their sports programs and leagues.
In 2013, La Veta was in the middle of a two-year cycle and did not have the option of changing to six-man football. Because it was not possible to drop to six-man, the team and the district decided to co-op with Sierra Grande, but it’s now time for big decisions to be made for the next two years because the district needs to decide whether or not to drop to six- man football or continue to co-op with another school. The school’s vision is to be an A+ school of excellence, and Superintendant Lessar really wanted some audience input on how to keep the vision a reality in both academics and athletics.
Another big issue was whether or not to move up to 2A volleyball. “Winning a game 25-4 is not doing our girls any good” Concerns about whether or not the girls are getting the competition they need playing in their current 1A league was another big question up for debate.
The audience then broke off into small groups to discuss among themselves the pros and cons of the information they were just handed. At the tables, the cons started to outweigh the pros. School spirit was alive and well as you heard parents and community members saying “tell us what WE need to do to keep these programs in our district.”
It wasn’t just football and volleyball; track and wrestling were on the discussion list as well. With some of the district’s coaches and athletes present to give their thoughts, it really was a well-balanced discussion stating that yes there are some definite pros to cooping with other schools.
The talent of the volleyball team is great, but La Veta has struggled to maintain their momentum in the past moving into district & regional games in their own 1A league. So the idea in the room was to leave them in 1A, maybe look into moving them to a more competitive 1A league but definitely keep them where they are, continue to build their talents and start playing some tougher teams, all in hopes that in the upcoming years, the district will easily be able to make that decision to move up to 2A.
The discussion for football concluded much the same: “leave them here.” Take these next two years of playing six-man to build a team back up. With lots of promising junior high kids coming up as well, use this time to build on the skill levels and get Redskin football back home where it needs to be.
By the end of the night it didn’t much matter if it was track, volleyball, wrestling, or football, the comments were the same, “Redskins wear red!” Some of the district’s school board members were present, and they will take back to next Monday’s meeting how the kids and the community really feel. “They are willing to start at the bottom and work their way up all for the sake of community and school pride”.
These topics are on the agenda for the next school board meeting, and the board needs to make decisions by the 28th of this month. Future meetings with students and their families may be held in the next two weeks for anyone wanting to discuss these matters further.
For now the students, parents, and community members were heard loud and clear. More than likely, Monday night’s school board meeting will decide on the future of the football program for the next two years. Parents and community members are always welcome to attend. The meeting will be held October 14th at the La Veta school library starting at 5:30 pm.