By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News
DANVILLE — District athletic director Ron Kanaskie said none of the school sports currently offered at Danville should be downgraded to a club status as a means of saving money for the district.
The comment came during a hypothetical discussion on whether some sports could be reduced to club status during Kanaskie’s athletics report at the school board’s Jan. 28 meeting.
During Kanaskie’s report, school board member Joseph Stemm said the district should reassess some of its athletic funding and not just give some sports groups money because the district had in the past. Stemm said he would like to see the district take a look at what sports are popular now and how those groups fit in at the intercollegiate level.
“We are providing some great opportunities for our young people to grow outside another classroom,” Kanaskie said. “We have something very, very special right here, 2014, in Danville, by offering our students what we’re offering.”
To drop any sport or hamper the development of young people by not providing those is not worthwhile, he said.
Earlier in his report, Kanaskie related that Danville currently has three district four athletic championships so far this year. “It’s the third year in a row I’ve been able to say that to you,” he said. “I have some colleagues, those words have never come out of their mouth once.”
Danville is currently the champion for their athletic division in girls cross country, boys soccer and golf. In addition, their football team won a division title this year.
“Those accomplishments don’t come naturally,” Kanaskie said. “I think they come because we have a lot of athletes who are willing to make a commitment to not only their academic success and their academic development but also to their extracurricular” activities. “The mileage … we’re getting out of our athletes is far above that of our neighboring school districts in District 4.”
There are currently 323 athletes across fall sports and 210 athletes in winter sports, Kanaskie said.
“Providing opportunities is very important to me,” he continued. “You can coach a sport because you like the Xs and Os of a sport, or you can coach it because you like taking young people from point A to point B.” The latter method describes himself and many other coaches he knows at Danville, Kanaskie said.
Superintendent Cheryl Latorre praised Kanaskie’s job at training district coaches. She added that the high school’s art department is currently working on a new mural in honor of Danville’s sports program.
Kanaskie told the board he was also putting together a set of guidelines for the maintenance, use and responsibility of athletic concession stands.
At their meeting, the board postponed a vote on the purchase of a $5,000 to $6,000 concession stand to be used at the field hockey, baseball and softball fields near Danville Primary School. The board wanted additional information from the booster clubs of those sports teams before they made a decision on the purchase.
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