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Gasconade County R-1 board could act on proposed football program for 7th-, 8th-Grade students

Posted on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 1:17 pm

Gasconade County R-1 School District Administration Building.

A graduation date for seniors and a football program for middle schoolers are two of the items on tomorrow night’s agenda of the Gasconade County R-1 School District Board of Directors.
The administration is proposing to set May 17 as the date for the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2018.
The administration is not offering a recommendation regarding a football program affiliated with the state activities association for the 7th- and 8th-Grade students.
Football for those students now is provided through the Hermann Youth Football League, a self-funded program for various-age youngsters that includes several communities in the region.
Of the seven school districts within the Four Rivers Conference that have high school football programs, four have approved a proposal to bring a 7th- and 8th-Grade program under their schools’ umbrellas.
Gasconade County R-1, Gasconade County R-2 and Sullivan have not approved the proposal.
In a letter to R-1 directors, Hermann Youth Football President Darrel Boyer makes the case for keeping the 7th- and 8th-Grade players in the existing program.
“We at HYF believe we have a quality program, led by quality board members and quality coaches,” the letter said. “We also believe and have faith that if our quality dips and or diminishes either from our local program or from the Four Rivers league that we are in, that our quality leaders we have in our program would step up and bring this to our school for further consideration. However, that is not the case currently and is ran confidently with our very own high school coach and school board member on board. Our coaches care and are passionate, as well as love what they do . . .”
It’s believed the push to make 7th- and 8th-Grade football part of the public schools’ program is coming from Pacific and St. Clair, although it’s not clear exactly what is sparking the move.
Supporters of the proposal say the move would allow the younger players to progress more steadily through the football program under the same set of coaches, allowig them to be more familiar with the system when they reach high school.
Opponents, such as the HYF, argue there is no clamor within the community for such a change.
The R-1 board is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. tomorrow night in the Administration Building.