Hancock girls’ club softball asks for varsity status

HANCOCK – The Hancock Central High School girls’ softball team began last year as a club sport, but the team members and head coach would like it to be a varsity team.

Volunteer Head Coach Randy Meyer, two other coaches and two players came to the work session of the Hancock Public Schools Board of Education Monday to talk about the team and ask board members to consider making it a varsity sport.

The girls’ softball team started last year as a club sport, for which the parents were responsible, including raising money.

Last year, Meyer said of the 20 girls who were on the team, nine hadn’t played softball before, but they did well, anyway.

“Every girl was an athlete, so it worked out well,” he said.

This year, Meyer said 29 girls have signed up to play softball.

Meyer said he and the team learned lessons from their experiences last year, including that they need to practice more than one day a week.

“You can’t be practicing once a week and expect to compete at that level,” he said.

The team did make it to the district tournament and played well, Meyer said.

Meyer said he would like the school to take ownership of the team.

“We’re doing everything now as a varsity sport,” he said.

If the players do well in a varsity sport, Meyer said they possibly could get into a university on an athletic scholarship.

Meyer said another lesson he learned last year was that there needs to be better communication between himself and the track coach to avoid conflicts for some of the girls who want to do both sports. Of the 29 girls signed up for softball, seven are also in track.

Softball is gaining popularity all over the state, Meyer said.

“Softball is one of the fastest growing high school sports in Michigan,” he said.

After Meyer spoke, the board members talked about making girls’ softball a varsity sport.

John Sanregret, who is HCHS principal and district athletic director, said the district doesn’t have a policy about letting students play more than one varsity sport, but it could be a problem.

“Everybody knows, it would be difficult, especially in the smaller schools to have softball and track,” he said.

Some students may be able to play in two sports and still do well academically, while others may not do well academically, Sanregret said.

“I have mixed feelings about it,” he said about having a policy regarding students participating in two varsity sports.

No action was taken on the issue by the board.

Also discussed by board members was when the next millage renewal elections should be conducted.

Superintendent Monica Healy said after talking to the district’s business managers and a law firm which works for school districts, the best time to conduct a millage renewal election would be in May. However, the district would have to pay $7,000 because it wouldn’t be during a primary or general election. The proposal has to be submitted to get on the ballot by Feb. 25, also.

Healy said the 18 mill operational non-homestead levy raises about $925,000 annually, which is about 16 percent of the district’s budget.

Board members decided to again discuss the millage renewal at their regular meeting on Monday.