Sports in Trouble in Monmouth - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Sports in Trouble in Monmouth

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Many students dream of playing for their school once the hit their Freshman year. 

But in one Illinois district - that might not be possible for incoming 9th graders next year.

Monmouth-Roseville - after already cutting several teacher aide positions earlier this month, is considering cutting all Freshman sports from their district. 

"It's very frustrating. I wish someone would come up with some answers and solutions to a problem we haven't created."

These are the beleaguered words of 1st year Superintendent Ed Fletcher. 

With the strong athletic tradition of the Titans-making state tournament runs in both basketball and football this year - success on the field won't be able to save future athletes. 

If cuts to Freshman sports are approved, it would affect all sports across the board - possibly leaving over hundred athletes without a place to compete.

"Much of the cost for freshman athletics is for transportation," says Athletic Director, Chuck Grant.

The reasons behind the cuts all come down to state funding. 

With Governor Quinn's newest budget proposal - it calls for schools to cover 81% of their transportation costs. 

This is up from 24% last year - causing Monmouth Roseville to cover over $276,000 to get kids to and from school and events. 

As for cutting the sports - it would only save the district $20,000 in transportation.

"It's not an option we want to consider but we need to keep all options open for cuts," says Superintendent Fletcher.

If the proposition to cut freshman athletics passes - athletes would still be able to try out for sports. 

But they would have to make the teams at the Sophomore and Varsity levels.

If it doesn't pass - Superintendent Fletcher isn't sure where else the district will look for funding.

One thought is to have student provide their own transportation to and from games and practices, starting in junior high.

This could save the district nearly $200,000 - but it's something nobody in the district wants to see happen.

"Anytime you cut something from the budget," says Fletcher, "It hurts kids. It's not a good option but an option we have to look at none the less."