Odessa considers sports mergers
ODESSA—The Odessa-Montour school board went over the pros and cons of combining some sports teams with Watkins Glen, Thursday, March 22.
The district is considering looking more into a possible merger for sports teams with low memberships. A resident had previously brought it up as a way to save money. Superintendent Jim Frame said he has spoken with Watkins Glen Superintendent Tom Phillips.
At that point, Frame added they are just seeing if the boards want to pursue the discussion of combined teams for swimming, tennis, golf and wrestling (as previously mentioned having low numbers). Frame said the two options they are discussing are:
• Not merging any teams with Watkins and having only modified A (grades seven through nine) and varsity (grades 10 through 12), with team size requirements.
• Doing the above, but combining the teams mentioned with Watkins.
In general the board wanted to look more into a merger if it meant students could still participate in a sport that currently has low enrollment. However, there were some concerns. Board member Karen Rock asked: Who would be the coach? Who would pick the coach? Where would the teams practice? Which Sports Boosters Club would get the concession proceeds? Board President Debra Harrington added they would need to buy new uniforms.
“It’s not going to be a major impact to our budget or theirs,” said Frame overall about merging.
Scott Westervelt added it would need commitment of a couple years. He also said merging would help the boys swimming team because Odessa has four swimmers and Watkins has nine. Westervelt added it would save costs on transportation and officials.
Another concern was if merging a team like tennis meant Odessa-Montour players not being able to play because the new team had too many athletes. Frame was also asked which class in Section IV a merged team would be. He explained it would probably be Class B.
Frame will speak with Phillips again. Westervelt added he would like the two school boards to also meet in person for discussions.
In other business:
• The board also awarded bids for the second phase of the capital project. Frame explained this was additional work not previously done and the district has left over Excellus funds. The work will include re-doing the baseball fields, fixing the elevator, new handicapped accessible bleachers, repairing the tennis courts, and bus garage window replacements.