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Soccer added as varsity sport at Nashville

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By John R. Schirmer
News-Leader staff

The Nashville School Board Monday night voted to add soccer as a varsity sport for the Scrappers and Scrapperettes. Nashville will declare its soccer program with the Arkansas Activities Association and will compete in the spring of 2017.

Board members approved a recommendation from Superintendent Doug Graham to add soccer in grades 9-12.

“One of the major points for declaring this year is that this is a new cycle for the AAA,” Graham said. “If we wait until next year [2017-18], we can’t compete for a championship.”

Graham said the start-up cost for the program will be about $20,000. That amount includes goals for the game field and playing field, soccer balls and uniforms.

“It costs about $140 per person for a uniform,” Graham said, including home top, away top, bottom and socks. Players will provide shin pads and cleats.

Games will be played at Scrapper Stadium, where the new artificial turf field has been marked for both football and soccer.

Graham said he expects to have “plenty of interest from the guys. I’m not as sure about the girls.” Students who attended the meeting said there would be a great deal of interest from the girls as well from the boys.

The district will start looking for a coach immediately. “My intention is to use someone in-house,” Graham said. “One coach on staff now has coached soccer before. I’m gong to send an announcement to our faculty to see who is interested.”

The coach who has expressed an interest has coached boys soccer. Graham doesn’t know about the girls position.

Monica Clark made the motion to start boys and girls soccer in Nashville for the 2016-17 academic year. The motion passed 4-0.

In other business Monday night, the board approved funding from the district to provide school supplies for students in grades K-6.

Graham said $50,000 will be set aside for school supplies, with $30,000 going for primary and $20,000 for elementary.

“It’s been my goal to try it for this year,” Graham said. “This is something the parents will appreciate. Supplies can be a burden on a family if they have two or three students.”

The district will evaluate the school supplies program at the end of the academic year to be sure there will be enough money to fund it again.

The board approved an index for STEM organizations at junior high, including Math Club and Science Club sponsors. The index will be .015, amounting to about $550 per sponsor.

Board members approved a bid of $2,758 from the Dwight Jones Agency for catastrophic accident insurance for all students in the district. “This is above and beyond our student insurance and above and beyond athletic insurance,” Graham said.

This will be the third year Nashville has provided the insurance, Graham said.

The board accepted Drew Tollett’s resignation as shooting sports coach. He will continue to teach in the agri department.

Board members accepted the resignation of James “Tiny” Lewis as a bus driver. Lewis has driven for 21 years.

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