Tyrone School District looks into starting a soccer program

The Tyrone School Board held its work session last night and the topic of discussion was soccer.
A petition was handed in to the school administration to research the possibility of starting a soccer program in the Tyrone School District. The petition came because over 100 children are participating in youth soccer in Tyrone.
“Most of the people who signed the petition are elementary age children,” said Tyrone Athletic Director Tony Yaniello. “We know that soccer is something that is coming down the road, but right now, the interest doesn’t seem there at the high school level.”
Tyrone belongs to the Mountain Athletic Conference in all sports other than football and at the present time, the conference doesn’t have a junior high soccer program.
“Soccer is a sport that takes place in the fall,” said Yaniello. “I am not sure we have enough interested athletes to add another sport in the fall.”
The current fall sports numbers are low this year. There are 32 girls participating in varsity sports this fall and 57 boys participating. There are 17 girls participating in volleyball, six in cross country and nine in tennis. On the boys side, 38 are participating in football, nine playing golf and 10 running cross country.
“We have a problem facility wise as well,” said Yaniello. “The soccer field is used for junior high football practice and band practice. We would have to adjust things to accommodate these programs as well. It could be done but it will be inconvenient.”
On the high school level, the season is between 16 and 20 games and according to Yaniello.
“I talked to other athletic directors in the conference who have soccer programs and there is a start up cost of about $12,000 before paying coaches salaries and referees,” said Yaniello. “It costs about $6,000 yearly after the program gets started.”
Board president Lee Stover asked Yaniello if he thought a soccer program would take away from the sports that exist?
“I talked to a couple girls who play volleyball and signed the soccer petition and they said they would keep playing volleyball,” the athletic director answered. “Because of the way the league operates, the earliest we could start a soccer program would be the 2005-06 school year.”
Following the discussion, the board and Yaniello determined that the best course of action would be to send a questionnaire through the school district to see if the interest is there and inform the students of what time of the year that soccer takes place and come back to the board with the results.”
The Tyrone School Board of Directors will hold its regular meeting Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in the elementary school board room.