2018-02-15 / Local News

Future in doubt for Norse cross country

Changes may be in store for student athletes at Suttons Bay High School.

Interim superintendent Mike Carmean has suggested eliminating boys and girls cross-country as a varsity sport.

“For schools of our size, we offer more sports than most and spend more on athletics,” Carmean told board members Monday night.

Carmean gathered information for public schools of similar size — 15 larger and 15 smaller — to see where Suttons Bay falls in terms of athletic programs and spending.

Schools in the slightly larger in the comparison included Frankfort, Forest Area and Lake Linden-Hubbell in the Upper Peninsula. Listed as slightly smaller schools were Leland, Onekama and Buckley.

Suttons Bay supports 17 separate boys and girls teams — second only to Jeffers High School in Houghton County with 18.

The school district offers boys and girls soccer, track and basketball; girls volleyball and softball; boys baseball and golf. Through cooperative agreements Suttons Bay students also participate in tennis, skiing and hockey.

Elsewhere in the northern lower peninsula, Onekama and Mason County Eastern offer 16 and 15 separate boys and girls teams.

In county, Leland supports 15 girls and boys teams.

However, Suttons Bay will spend the most among the 31-school comparison at more than $200,000 on athletics in the current school year.

“I’m planting the seed this month to consider eliminating cross-country as a varsity sport,” Carmean said.

Cutting cross-country would impact the fewest number of students as eight students participated last fall — four males and four females.

However, Carmean would like to have more input before making his recommendation next month.

He will be in his office from 7 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, March 6, to meet with cross country parents and students.

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