Thea Digiammerino

Fight to Save Southington Middle School Sports Continues

The fight to revive middle school sports in Southington after programming was cut over budget concerns continues.

Thursday, the Southington Middle School Athletics Association will ask the board of education to approve their new plan to accept funds they’ve collected, as well as implement a new method of paying to keep kids on the field.

For Erika Simons, mother of a middle school student at Depaolo Middle School, hearing that sports funding was cut this summer from the board’s budget was a disappointment. “Getting kids involved in extra-curricular activities is very important,” said Simons, “so I didn’t like that they were cutting the middle school sports.”

Simons’ son wanted to be on the cross-country team this spring. Now, she and her son are realizing that dream may not become a reality.

Once the board of education announced they’d be cutting sports funding, a parent group set to work and has collected $10,000 in pledges to fund fall sports – boys and girls soccer, and girls volleyball.

Thursday, the Southington Middle School Athletic Association will ask the board to approve the association’s partnership with the school, and to implement a $100 activity fee per sport to help cover the costs.

For Kristin Moran, the fee’s expensive for her family since her son plays three sports.

“(I’m) starting to think now about what other options are out there as far as additional leagues and other resources,” said the Southington mother.

Association Board President Mike DeFeo said pay-for-play fees should cover half of the total transportation and coach costs – a $90,000 price tag.

Moran’s son will attend Depaolo next fall, but she’s waiting to tell her year-round athlete what his athletic future looks like.

“I knew he would be heartbroken,” said Moran, “and I’m sort of hoping that maybe the pendulum swings the other way by the time he reaches middle school.”

The fundraising deadline is Sept. 8.

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