Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Parents Offer to Fund Boys' Varsity Volleyball

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Parents Offer to Fund Boys' Varsity Volleyball

Article excerpt

Parents of boys who have played volleyball for Fort Zumwalt South High School say they will not allow a tight school budget to spike their sons' dreams of playing varsity ball.

The parents say that if the budget will not allow for boys' varsity volleyball, then they will raise money to sponsor teams.

At a meeting of the Fort Zumwalt School Board Monday night, parents asked the board to approve their plan. Teams would use the school name, facilities, equipment and perhaps insurance, if the parents raise money to pay for coaches, umpires, transportation and uniforms.

"We have supported (boys' volleyball) for years when it has been a club sport," said Kathy Hartnell, one of the parents. "We can do this, especially if we can negotiate our own prices."

A change in the status of boys' volleyball spurred the parents. This spring the Missouri State High School Activities Association approved boys' volleyball as an interscholastic activity. Until then, boys' volleyball could be played only as a club sport. A club sport is sponsored independently of the school but can use the school name. Coaches volunteer, and clubs set their own schedules. Players receive no varsity credit.

The good news is that former club teams will be able to compete in a varsity sport. The bad news is club teams no longer will be allowed as club teams nor to set their own schedules. In Fort Zumwalt, boys either will play varsity volleyball or no volleyball for the school.

"Our first letter to the district sought whatever money they could give us," Hartnell said. "(Administrators) said they didn't have any funds. We came back with a counter offer. We'll supply the money so long as our kids can play."

Fort Zumwalt South volleyball players attended the board meeting. Dominic DiMercurio, a senior, said he wanted to continue playing after having reached a skill level that could lead to a college scholarship. …

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