Board discusses adding middle school girls wrestling

Meghan Flynn
Garden City Telegram
Flags blow in the wind outside the USD 457 Educational Support Center, 1205 N. Fleming St.

The possible addition of girls wrestling to Horace Good and Kenneth Henderson Middle Schools was discussed at the USD 457 Board of Education's regular meeting Monday.

No decision was made at the meeting, but the topic will be discussed at Board's May 10 meeting.

Matt Bayer, Kenneth Henderson Middle School Associate Principal and Athletics and Activities Teacher on Special Assignment, said the interest in girls wrestling has grown enough in the past several years for KSHAA to add it to the list of offered activities, including a state tournament.

In 2020 the Middle School Western Athletic Conference, the league which Garden City schools belong to, voted to create their own middle school girls wrestling program, Bayer said. The program ran last year during the boys basketball season and was successful.

Horace Good and Kenneth Henderson were the only two middle schools that didn't join the MSWAC for girls wrestling this past year because they could still participate during the boys wrestling season, Bayer said.

However this coming year they have to join the league for girls to participate, Bayer said.

"KSHAA is separating boys wrestling and girls wrestling, so we really don't have a choice," he said. "If we want to have girls wrestling next year it has to be separated and not conjoined."

A survey conducted at both middle schools about the level of interest in participating in girls wrestling showed there is enough interest to fill team at both schools.

At Kenneth Henderson a total of 20 girls said they would be interested if wrestling was offered, nine were in seventh grade and 11 were in eighth grade.

At Horace good a total of 53 girls said they were interested, 31 were in seventh grade and 22 were in eighth grade.

Bayer said one thing MSWAC found was that they had great participation numbers.

"They tend to find out that it's because (the girls) don't have to participate with boys," he said.

The girls wrestling program would be run similarly to boys wrestling and would utilize the same facilities, but there would be some costs to add the program as coaches would need to be hired and uniforms would need to be purchased.

It will cost approximately $4,596.02, for each school, to hire a head coach and assistant coach.

Uniforms,which include singlets, sweat shirt warm up and shorts warm ups, will cost approximately $2,565 at Horace Good and $2,112.50 at Kenneth Henderson.

Uniforms are not an additional cost as they will be figured into the current activities budget at each school.

Additionally $500 would be needed for each school for the program. $500 is budgeted each year for the boys programs, so the additional $500 to each school's budget would give the girls the same funds without having to cut funds from another program.

In other business, the Board approved the 2021-22 calendar.

The first days of school will be Aug. 9 and Aug. 10, with Aug. 9 a half day held for elementary, fifth, seventh, ninth and 10th grades and for new students. Aug. 10 is the first day for all students.

Fall vacation will be from Nov. 22-26 and winter vacation will run from Dec. 20-31, with school resuming on Jan. 6. Jan. 3-5 are teacher in-service/work days.

Spring break will be from March 14-18 and spring vacation on April 18.

Graduation is scheduled for May 14, with the last day of school on May 19.