In an email from EGUSD athletic director Jim Smrekar, "The Board voted 4-3 to reinstate freshmen sports in football, baseball, girls’ volleyball, basketball, soccer, and boys’ basketball for the 2014-15 school year."
Most everyone I talked to over the past few weeks, coaches and administrators, alike, wanted freshman teams to return. They were cut out because of budget shortfalls in 2010. Now, four years later the lights will be on Thursday nights once again at our local stadiums.
This will make our local athletic directors hustle to not only hire a decent staff of coaches, but also rig up a schedule and buy more shoulder pads and helmets (not cheap).
Pleasant Grove's Jeff Caton had a good idea to put the freshmen sports back in for basketball season, then there would be a whole year to hire the right guy to coach football, plus baseball, softball and whatever. As he wrote me a few days ago, "I am afraid the first guy to raise his hand ends up with a coaching job at a couple schools instead of someone who is truly qualified."
Here's another issue: will Monterey Trail, a school that struggles to field enough varsity guys to have a full scrimmage on both sides of the ball, be able to field a sizeable squad in the fall? Laguna Creek, headed to the Metro League, won't bother. Neither will Florin and Valley.
I bet even Sheldon will have difficulty in getting 22 guys.
This was an email drive put on by parents at Franklin, Cosumnes Oaks and Pleasant Grove. They got their way. Now the Midget football teams have another year playing together. Most won't be playing their sophomore year.
Please don't take me wrong, for I know there should be freshman teams, but it can't happen at every local school. The numbers just aren't there. And, many times you place undue pressure on some schools to come up with freshman squads to the point that what they field is embarrassing and results in something real negative.
|Josh Lex coaching one of his pitchers
Laguna Creek plays Elk Grove in baseball Thursday and Friday and head coach Josh Lex may not be there. He was ejected from a game last week where he bumped an umpire. By CIF rule, that means a two game suspension. However, the school may make him sit out more games.
One observer told me it was an ugly scene when Lex was ejected protesting a balk call on one of his pitchers.