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Summit Lax’s new goal: CHSAA by 2007

DEVON O'NEIL
summit daily news
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk
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It won’t be this spring, but Summit Lacrosse officials are still holding out hope that their high school-aged teams will eventually be recognized as Summit High School varsity squads.

The new goal, according to boys head coach and chief champion of the club’s cause, Jeff Echols, is the spring of 2007.

After reviewing a recent proposal submitted by Echols and Breckenridge recreational programs manager Diane McBride, who helps manage the administrative arm of the club, Summit High athletic director Gretchen Nies decided there was no way for the club to compete this spring as a member of the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA).

“As we started talking about what CHSAA policy is, what the timing is in terms of declaring that we’re going to bring on a sport, the funding, scheduling and everything else,” Nies said, “it was pretty clear that there was no way it was going to be logistically (possible) for us to bring it on this spring.

“Then we started talking about, OK, if not this spring, when. And that’s where we are now.”

Echols, for one, plans to do everything he can to make sure “when” is a year from now.

“That’s our ultimate goal,” he said.

Nies said that while the school’s athlete pool will be taken into account, the biggest issue when considering the merits of adding lacrosse ” or any other sport ” as a varsity program remains funding.

“It’s going to be a bottom-line budget item,” she said, adding that if lacrosse is to be added, it will “likely” come at the expense of another varsity program.

“It’s going to come down to a financial decision, and it’s going to come down to an evaluation process probably of all of our programs,” she said.

In the past, when Summit High has added varsity programs to its roster of sports, the programs have had to exist on their own financially for at least the first year. Echols is planning ahead, and intends to show money won’t be a problem when it comes time for district officials to decide the lacrosse club’s fate.

He is considering hiring a fundraising firm to bolster the club’s budget ” which already is supported by a number of corporate sponsors ” and says he will submit a formal grant request to The Summit Foundation in time to be considered for the next fiscal year. He wants “to show the school board that we’re building a solid financial base to be ready for ’07.”

Until then, he said, “We’ve laid the groundwork. We’re on the high school’s radar. We’re going to go forward and organize everything exactly the same way we did last year.”

The club’s spring registration meeting is set for Thursday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m. at Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge.

Echols said the club will begin practicing on Feb. 27.

Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13630, or at doneil@summitdaily.com.


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