Tuesday, August 28, 2012
A south central Kansas high school is seeing a dramatic drop in student involvement in junior varsity sports.
The athletic department at Augusta high school says they've had to cancel their JV seasons this year for football and soccer.
Usually, fans have the chance to see the Augusta Orioles play three times a week - the freshman and JV teams on Monday then the varsity on Friday nights. But this year there won't be a JV team at Augusta High School.
"Just right now, pure numbers of athletes in your school and numbers of guys that are interested in playing sports. Right now, we just don't have a great number of them,” Head Coach Roger Robben said.
Only eight kids were interested in playing junior varsity football this year so the school had to cancel the JV season all together.
"I don't like canceling our JV schedule it puts our program at a disadvantage because our kids aren't developing as they should,” Augusta's Athletic Director Doug Law said.
All of the kids who would have been JV will either play with the freshman team or take the field with the varsity.
"Well we're going to try to find ways to be more creative, I guess. To put in them in the game is the best way to put and find ways to help them play,” Coach Robben said.
It's a similar story for Augusta’s soccer program. They also had to cancel their JV boys season because of low participation.
"We're just in a period of time where kids aren't participating with us as much as we'd like,” Law said.
As for the football program, sophomore Ian O'Loughlin says one reason he's heard from classmates who didn't want to join the team is last year's season. The team went 0 and 9.
"They believe that since the Orioles have had some bad luck as of late. That's the way it's always going to be and they don't want to be part of the changing tide,” O'Loughlin said.
Coach Robben says he has high hopes for next year. There are 24 freshman players they hope to bring back next year.
“And continue to hopefully to motivate some of the other guys who may have the ability but just aren't interested in sports to come about and play,” Coach Robben said.
The Orioles will play their season opener this Friday against Circle High School. Circle's coach tells us their program has also had a low turnout for their JV teams and they had to cancel their JV season as well.