Administration considering fate of soccer, golf and tennis for 2013-14 school year

Hold on Raider fans. The upcoming weeks may be a bumpy road for Immaculata athletics.

According to an e-mail dispersed last Thursday by the Leavenworth Regional Catholic Schools administration, the district is exploring the possibility of dropping soccer, tennis and golf at the start of the 2013-14 school year.

The reasons presented included budget concerns, a lack of participation in the sports and the school's new league affiliation, which comes into affect next school year.

The new league, the Northeast Kansas League, is an eight-team segment of the school's current conference, the Delaware Valley League. And the majority of schools in the NEKL do not offer the three sports Imac is considering eliminating.

Attempts to reach acting superintendent and current Xavier Elementary principal Karen Davis were unsuccessful Friday.

Imac athletic director Sean Sachen did state through a text message Friday, “We would like to wait until after we meet with the parents before we make a statement.”

Nonetheless, no final decision has been made. In fact, according to multiple school sources, a parent forum has been tentatively scheduled for Monday at Immaculata High School to discuss the impending resolution.

At those meetings — tennis and golf at 6 p.m. inside the cafeteria; soccer at 7 p.m. in the auditorium — school administrators will present why they have reached this impasse and seek the public's input.

If an alternative that saves the sports, while also maintaining fiscal responsibility, can be hatched — then there is hope for the future of the endangered athletics.

However, if a reasonable accord can not be found over the next few weeks, the risk of losing the sports will increase.

“Yes, I understand there are some discussions taking place,” Imac tennis coach Manuel Hernandez said. “The administration is looking at the options. We are just in the waiting mode to see what we can do to help.”

According to multiple school sources, a timeline for the conclusion of this matter is not set in stone, though, by mid-April the matter should be determined. With class registration ongoing, the hope is that affected families would have enough time to react to whatever determination is made.

Several avenues are currently being explored to save the sports, multiple sources indicated, including co-operations with Leavenworth and Lansing High School. However, due to KSHSAA enrollment regulations, that solution is difficult to navigate.

The Immaculata soccer team, which had 17 members last fall, finished 3-13-1. Both the boys' and girls' tennis teams had around 10 members each last season, give or take a couple, as well as two state qualifiers over the previous two years.

The Raiders' golf squad had four members in 2012, including a state qualifier.

“It would be really frustrating and just sad that so many people that are dedicated to our sports wouldn't be able to play anymore,” Imac junior tennis player Sydney Simek said. “It just kind of came out of the blue. I knew there were issues, but I never expected this. It's just so sudden.”