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Hockey dreams become reality

— The dream of high school hockey for local supporters is slowly becoming a reality in Steamboat Springs.

Monday, the appointed three-man panel of Athletics Director Bruce Crowhurst, Principal David Schmid and Vice Principal Mike Knezevich voted to include hockey on next season’s sport slate. Wednesday it became apparent that wasn’t the final step in the process.

According to district policy, the school board must approve of any contractually related issue such as adding a teacher or adding a hockey team. Superintendent Cyndy Simms said every sport that Steamboat adds post-1993 has to be funded privately. The Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey Association is assuming financial responsibility for high school hockey, according to local supporters, and therefore must enter into a contract with the school board.



“At that point the school board would have to consider the recommendation from the principal, and the contract that would be presented to the school board from the Steamboat Hockey Association,” said Simms. “And then we would take action whether to approve it or not.”

The recommendation from Schmid and the two others on the panel is that prep hockey be born, so the next step is for the association to present a contract to the school board.



Crowhurst said the hockey contract is on the schedule for the May 6 school board study session. School board president Paul Fisher said agenda items must be included if they require a school board decision to go into effect or if they are a policy issue. The addition of hockey fulfills all criteria.

“We will be making a decision to see if the contract language and stipulations apply with district policy,” Fisher said.

In other words, the contract the association brings before the school board must prove the high school hockey team will be self-sufficient and will meet other guidelines as called for by the school district.

“If the board feels the contract is void of something, the contract isn’t signed and that technicality would mean there is no sport,” Fisher said. “But they have an opportunity to correct the language and come back to present the revisions.”

Fisher said the school board isn’t out to reverse the decision. They weren’t empowered to make it in the first place. That was delegated outside the board.

“The understanding was that they left that responsibility to us pending approval,” Crowhurst said.

And Crowhurst is correct, according to Fisher.

“Officially the board won’t be making a decision,” he said. “We aren’t second-guessing the decision. We are working under policy governance.”

Meaning the board is just reviewing the contract to make sure it fulfills district policies. Fisher said the official vote is tentatively scheduled for the May 13 regular school board meeting.


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