What do you think?
We have received some inquiries asking just where all of the high school soccer programs across the state stand for the fall 2014 soccer season. We’ve been counting them up
Are remaining schools feeling “a little pressure”? Tonight, the Rapid City School Board has voted unanimously to sanction soccer for 2014. They followed two school districts – Sioux Falls and
Add Hot Springs School District to the list of schools that have sanctioned high school soccer for the fall 2014 season! At last night’s Hot Springs School Board meeting,
Earlier this month, the newly-formed Black Hills Soccer Club announced its affiliation with the Colorado Rapids. We put together a short story about this and were waiting until the Black
We have received some inquiries asking just where all of the high school soccer programs across the state stand for the fall 2014 soccer season. We’ve been counting them up carefully.
And here it is. As of about noon today – Wednesday, April 16th – our tally indicates there will be 21 teams in the sanctioned program and ten teams in the club program, based on the most recent School Board actions from around the state.
Using only the divisions of “A” and “AA”, there will be 14 “A” programs in the fall and 17 “AA” programs.
- Ten of the “A” programs will play sanctioned soccer and four will play club soccer.
- Eleven of the “AA” programs will be sanctioned and six will be club.
When you break this down further by boys and girls programs, the real scheduling problems for the club programs becomes more evident.
- On the boys “A” side, there will nine teams playing sanctioned soccer, with just three playing club, and they are scattered across the state – Chamberlain, Custer and Vermillion.
- For boys “AA”, 11 teams will play sanctioned soccer and six will play club – Brookings, Huron, Pierre, Spearfish, Watertown and Yankton. Spearfish will have some miles to travel if they remain in the club program.
- In girls “A”, there will be six teams playing sanctioned, and only two – Vermillion and West Central – playing club. At least they are both on the same end of the state.
- For girls “AA”, 11 teams will play sanctioned and five club – Brookings, Pierre, Spearfish, Watertown and Yankton.
Of course this can all change with the SDHSAA deadline extension to May 15th and the May school board meetings. We understand that Brookings, Spearfish and Yankton school boards all have it on their agendas in May.
- Brookings School Board did not have soccer on their agenda for Monday night’s meeting and their agenda is not yet published for their May meeting. However, with the extension of the SDHSA deadline, our sources in Brookings tell us that soccer will be on the May agenda to consider sanctioning for the fall of 2014.
- Spearfish postponed action at their Board meeting on April 14th. From the Spearfish School Board minutes Monday night: “The Board discussed sanctioning soccer. Due to conflicting information, the Board will take up the question of when to sanction soccer at the May Board meeting.”
- The minutes of the Yankton School Board meeting, also on Monday night, are not posted yet, but the video of the meeting is available at http://www.ysd.k12.sd.us/BM04-14-2014 – the soccer discussion begins at about 42:00 in the video. It is obvious that the meeting was well-attended by the Yankton Soccer Community and YYSA representatives made a great presentation on behalf of Yankton soccer players. About 20 minutes of a 76-minute meeting was dedicated to discussing high school soccer sanctioning before the decision was made to take advantage of the SDHSAA deadline and defer action until the May board meeting.
There is a possibility that Pierre and Watertown will have sanctioning soccer on their May meeting agendas as well.
- Pierre School Board met on April 14, as did many others in the state, but soccer was not listed on their agenda. According to their regular second Monday of the month schedule, the School Board will next meet on May 12. The agenda for that meeting has not yet been published.
- Watertown School District had a board meeting on April 1, so missed out on the flurry of activity this week. Their next meeting appears to be April 24, but there is no published agenda on their website so we don’t know if high school soccer sanctioning will be addressed.
We have found no mention of soccer on any of the “A” schools Board agendas – of those we could find. For a complete listing of our calculations and which schools are where as of now, go to High School Soccer Calculations.
Tonight, the Rapid City School Board has voted unanimously to sanction soccer for 2014. They followed two school districts – Sioux Falls and Hot Springs – that sanctioned soccer Monday night. Sioux Falls will have full-blown sanctioned soccer in 2014, while Hot Springs took the option of becoming a transition school, taking their process over five years. We’ll report the details of their resolution as soon as we can get them.
Only a few weeks ago, most South Dakota school boards had a pretty casual relationship with soccer. Really, it was the best of both worlds for them. They had teams wearing the school colors and using the school names. Many of the programs had top-notch coaches running the programs and it did not cost the school district a cent to enjoy those benefits.
In a week, the situation has changed dramatically.
With the sudden avalanche of schools sanctioning soccer in South Dakota, the schools that have been holding back, waiting for the last possible moment must be feeling an incredible amount of pressure tonight.
In addition to Hot Springs, Sioux Falls, and Rapid City, other school districts who made the decision earlier to adopt sanctioned high school soccer this fall are Brandon Valley, Belle Fourche & Sturgis.
These actions leave a few schools on the outside, looking in.
Huron, Pierre, Yankton, and Brookings – all ESD schools – are now on the hot plate. No one wanted or asked to be there – that’s just the way it has turned out.
This morning, the Sioux Falls area schools – we call them the Metro League – got together and hammered out their schedules. For most of them, it will be a Sioux Falls league playing the Sioux Falls teams twice and adding in Aberdeen. With their sanctioning move, the Rapid City schools will fill out the schedules. This puts a lot of pressure on those ESD schools that have not made the move yet.
So, here is a new update, based on calls and emails from our friends around the state.
Brookings – All indications are that they will sanction – or at least become a transition school – at the May 12th meeting.
Pierre – Nothing new to report. Soccer was not listed on the pubished Pierre school board agenda for last night’s meeting. Pierre School District is expected to stick to the 2015 date – but is one of the schools that has been in the “let’s wait to see what everyone else does” mode.
Spearfish – As we mentioned in our earlier report, last night the Spearfish school board tabled action on the 2014 season until next month. Earlier in the year, the board had voted to begin with the 2015 season. Add them to the list of “wait and see” schools. They waited, and we’ve seen three school districts last night and tonight move forward. Now we’ll have to see what action Spearfish will take next month.
Watertown – The Soccer605 people there tell us that they have good support for sanctioning, but some minority very outspoken opposition. We’ll see if an outspoken minority can overcome the support of a quiet majority there.
Yankton – Our Soccer605 people are telling us there that there is support in the school board. They had the opportunity to produce an outcome Monday night, but deferred until the May meeting. No doubt, they are in all sorts of negotiations with the other ESD schools who have not made the sanctioning move yet. Our local sources are telling us that there was plenty of agreement to sanction in 2015, but with the Sioux Falls move the 2014 season is in play and they want to take as much time as possible to make the decision.
Chamberlain – Circles around the state seem to agree that the high school soccer program that has the most to lose through sanctioning is probably Chamberlain. With a fairly new high school program and soccer program, Chamberlain may not have the community support yet to make the transition. We’re hoping for a pleasant surprise from the Chamberlain School Board – the kids who have played in Chamberlain have dedicated so much and we’d like to see them have the opportunity to continue their program.
Custer – Our sources tell us that Custer opted to not join the 2014 sanctioning movement during last night’s School Board meeting. This does not mean there will be no soccer in Custer, just that the 2014 season is not an option for them as of now. You have to wonder who they will play, now that every other West River team will be playing in the sanctioned category?
Huron – We have nothing new to add to what we reported earlier but will reiterate – by offering sanctioned soccer in the high school, we believe that the Huron school district will be in a better position to serve their unique population, connect them more to the school and improve student outcomes.
Vermillion – The Vermillion Soccer Community has been actively seeking community support for sanctioned high school soccer, but we have not heard favorable reports toward that end. As with Custer on the west side of the state, we wonder who will be left for Vermillion to play if they don’t sanction by this fall. West Central?
West Central – Although earlier reports out of West Central have remained adamant that sanctioning was not an option, sources now tell us they do expect the West Central girls’ team to become a sanctioned program in 2014. Gymnastics was on the published School Board agenda for last week, but no mention of soccer. West Central has not had a boys’ team.
Real or perceived, the reasons given by school districts NOT to sanction soccer are going up in smoke. And as Wes Storm, President of Black Hills Rapids Soccer Club, said so aptly the other day, “Soccer is a growing sport that is here to stay, and I would think that school districts would want to take control of their high school soccer programs. I believe it (sanctioned soccer) is in the best interests of the kids and the sport.”
Additionally, the ability for South Dakota Soccer Association to provide a viable club high school season for the few remaining teams is fast fading as well. Especially with the geographic distribution of the few remaining holdouts.
We all understand that change can be hard – especially when it happens suddenly. But folks, this isn’t sudden. We have been moving toward a sanctioned high school soccer season in South Dakota since 1997. Let’s get it done.
Add Hot Springs School District to the list of schools that have sanctioned high school soccer for the fall 2014 season!
At last night’s Hot Springs School Board meeting, the Board unanimously approved this item #13 under new business on their agenda:
Discussion and Action / Approval to Sanction Soccer
Recommendation: It is recommended the Governing Board discuss and take action to approve the sanctioning of Soccer through a five-year phase in plan.
They did discuss it – and took action to approve! Congratulations Hot Springs School Board on providing this opportunity for your students! And to Hot Springs Bison Soccer Players, Coaches & Families – Woo-hoo! Well done!
Earlier this month, the newly-formed Black Hills Soccer Club announced its affiliation with the Colorado Rapids. We put together a short story about this and were waiting until the Black Hills Rapids announced their technical director. Our money was on South Dakota School of Mines head coach Joe Burger and we were spot on there! Congratulations Coach Burger!
On Thursday, we will host several people involved in the transition team and who will be running the new club on a Google Hangout live at 5:00 p.m. Central time. We hope you will join us on the Soccer605TV You Tube channel.
If you have a question you would like us to ask, just use the comment form below or contact us through the Contact Form. We’ll post a link for you soon.