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District brings back middle school sports


Basketball, wrestling and track will be offered in the 2014-15 school year

The Estacada school district is bringing back a select number of middle school sports programs for the upcoming school year.

“It’s critical to bring kids along at a young age, and we wanted to keep that as part of our educational process — we want to keep students engaged,” Estacada High Athletics Director Ryan Carpenter said.

Coaches in the high school basketball programs gave up one of their stipends to fund coaching spots for their sport at the middle school level, while the wrestling boosters performed fund-raising to do the same for their sport.

“We noticed our numbers at the high school level have been down since we cut middle school sports a few years back, and our coaches made sacrifices that allowed us to bring it back,” Estacada High Athletics Director Ryan Carpenter said. “It’s not like we had extra funding to bring it back, but we had people step up who helped us make the move in a cost-neutral basis.”

The district was able to put together money to offer another coaching stipend for middle school track in the spring — a sport that typically brings in 40-50 kids.

Carpenter hopes that this is the beginning of a two-year phase to restore middle school sports, as he looks for the possible return of volleyball and soccer in 2015.

“We still have the uniforms and equipment sitting in a storage room — we just have to bust it back out.”