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Tom Mix, Published January 28 2014

Fall, winter sports set for West Fargo’s new high school

WEST FARGO – After several years of research, West Fargo Sheyenne High School’s sports and extra-curricular programs are starting to take root.

Monday, the West Fargo School Board unanimously approved a

co-curricular staffing request of 34 assistant and head coaching positions during the fall and winter seasons at Sheyenne for the 2014-15 school year.

The request details the school’s intent to field varsity teams for 14 different sports and extra-curricular activities. The total cost for the 34 part-time positions is $112,522.

The list of fall and winter varsity offerings included in Sheyenne’s request were: football, volleyball, boys and girls cross country, girls swimming, student congress, cheer team, drama, boys and girls basketball, boys swimming, debate, speech and dance.

Boys tennis, girls golf, boys soccer, boys and girls hockey and wrestling were fall and winter sports not included in Sheyenne’s con-curricular staffing request. Those activities will co-op with West Fargo High School until research findings and participation numbers merit the

co-op to dissolve.

“We are creating positions to cover the potential of those activities starting up next year,” Sheyenne activities director Ross Richards said. “It puts us in a good position where we can at least get staff members in place.”

Richards said that as of Tuesday only the approved activities for the 2014 fall season have been formally declared with the North Dakota High School Activities Association. Those activities include: football, volleyball, boys and girls cross country, girls swimming, cheer, drama and student congress.

“We won’t declare anything regarding the winter sports and activities for the winter season for a couple of weeks,” Richards said. “The NDHSAA requires that prior to the end of any particular season, you have to declare what you are going to do a year in advance. For example, following the upcoming boys swimming and diving meet we will have to declare with the activities association if we are going to have a swim team next season or not. That is the model we are following with all of our activities.”

Co-curricular staffing is based upon the district’s staff/student ration for each activity grouping, and upon the anticipated student participation levels. As these factors are reviewed for each activity at Sheyenne, additional varsity declarations will be submitted for the school’s spring season activities and the requests for additional coaching staff will be submitted to the school board at that time.

Sheyenne fielded only sub-varsity athletic teams this school year with its student body consisting of just freshman and sophomores. The school’s first senior class will graduate in the spring of 2016, meaning any varsity program next school year will have no seniors.

Sites for varsity competitions in several sports will require Sheyenne teams to travel north next year.

Varsity football games for West Fargo and Sheyenne will be played at WFHS’s varsity field. Sheyenne will conduct weekly practices at the field on its campus.

The swimming programs at both schools will share the L.E. Berger facility.

“That is going to be something that we are going to have sit down and look at what scheduling is in the best interest of the students in West Fargo Public Schools both West Fargo and Sheyenne as well as accommodating the community use of the pool,” Richards said.

With the first varsity competitions at Sheyenne now less than a year away, Richards said anticipation is growing steadily.

“A lot of people have put a lot of time and effort into trying to make these things happen and for it to be close to being here I think that is exciting,” Richards said. “It is a great unknown too for a lot of the coaches and participants. At some point we have to move forward and dive in so to speak.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562