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BASA asks for high school soccer program to be sanctioned
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

September 23. 2013 7:27AM
Representatives of the Brandon Area Soccer Association returned to ask the Brandon Valley Board of Education to reconsider sanctioning high school soccer for both boys and girls beginning next fall. BASA first proposed the idea last November, but because of budget constraints, the Board denied the request.

The cost to field varsity and junior varsity teams for high school athletes only was estimated at $40,000.

“We really want you to start thinking about sanctioning soccer,” said Chris Limmer, BASA president, at the board’s Sept. 9 meeting. “We don’t have any big proposal tonight, but just wanted to come out and show you our support for soccer.”

Backing up Limmer in showing that support at the meeting were more than 50 athletes from the Lynx club soccer teams.

Last November, BASA presented three options to the board: 1.) Remain operating as a club program; 2.) Turn the program over to the district entirely; or 3.) Transition from a club program to a school sanctioned sport over five years.

While the transition option remains on the table, BASA reps are more eager now than ever to get the sport sanctioned. April 15, 2014, is the deadline for school districts to sanction or begin the five-year transition process because following the 2014 fall season, the South Dakota State Soccer Association will no longer oversee the high school club program. They plan to cut ties with the high school program when the South Dakota High School Association sanctioned the sport last year.

At the present, 11 high school boy’s teams and nine girl’s teams are school sponsored. If Brandon Valley becomes a sanctioned program, Limmer said the Lynx could still compete against club programs, although those points would not count toward qualifying for the state tournament.
Brandon Valley senior Riley Swenson, who also serves as a captain for the varsity boy’s team, said soccer athletes would feel more respected if the sport is sanctioned.

“We feel that we’re not quite as respected as other sports in the school even though we wear the name of the school,” he said.

The Board directed BASA reps and school administrators to meet to develop proposals on sanctioning soccer.

The Brandon Area Soccer Association has asked the school board to consider sanctioning soccer at the high school level. Challenger file photo

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