SENECA - Soccer arrived in the Seneca Area School District Monday night, when the school board approved participating in a co-op team with the Prairie du Chien School District.
On hand for the decision made at the board’s regularly scheduled Monday meeting was Tanner Kilburg, a Seneca soccer player, and his parents.
Prairie du Chien soccer coach Lara Czajkowski-Higgins also attended and made a brief presentation about the co-op soccer team to the board. The coach explained that she had coached Tanner in Prairie du Chien’s youth club soccer team. She is now also coaching the high school teams and Tanner could play on the boys team next fall through the co-op team arrangement.
Czajkowksi-Higgins said that she had watched in the past with sadness as other youth soccer players went on to high schools without soccer programs and had to give up their sport.
Well that won’t be the case for Tanner after the Seneca School board voted unanimously to approve the co-op soccer agreement with Prairie du Chien.
In approving the co-op soccer team, several board members noted that it is important to give students opportunities.
Participating in the co-op soccer team will cost $100 per student and the student and their family will be responsible for paying it. They will also be responsible for the transportation of the student to practices and games.
In addition to the high school boys soccer team, where Tanner is anticipating playing in the fall season, there is also a girls team that will play in the spring. The Seneca board action also included the co-op arrangement to allow girls to play soccer in a co-op team arrangement.
Czajkowski-Higgins noted that at the moment Tanner Kilburg is the only student that is known to have an interest in joining the team. In fact, he may turn out to be the only student from Seneca joining the co-op team.
However, the coach said she would come to the school and explain the program to any interested students and others would be welcome to participate.
Coach Lara Czajkowski-Higgins said she anticipates that River Ridge will also approve a co-op soccer team arrangement with Prairie du Chien to accommodate one of their students, who has been participating in the Prairie du Chien youth program and will be a high school student next fall.
“It sounds like a good idea,” Seneca District Administrator Dave Boland said after the soccer coach’s presentation.
Board member Charles Clark said it sound like a very positive proposal.
“In the pandemic, we’ve learned a lot about working with other districts,” Clark said.
Another board member Chad Sime noted that with no outlay of money on the part of the district, there was no reason not to let the co-op soccer arrangement happen.
“We have had co-op teams in wrestling and football and it has worked out well for us,” Sime noted.
It was mentioned that the North Crawford-Seneca wrestling team was started 15 years ago.
“I think it’s a very positive thing for kids,” board president Mark Johnson said of the co-op soccer team.
“When we get five or six kids involved in it, they will be asking for a bus,” board member Larry Kelley said.
“If it expands, we’ll handle it,” Boland said.
Kelley moved to approve the plan for a co-op soccer team with Prairie du Chien. Britany Joy seconded the motion and board approved it unanimously.
The board approved giving the Seneca Area School District Monthly Recognition Award to Spelling Bee Champions Kylie Chambers and Lillian McCullick, who have qualified to compete in the State Spelling Bee. The board also decided to give the monthly recognition award to the Seneca Middle School Girls Basketball Coaches for a job well done this season.
In other business, the Seneca School Board:
• learned the district received a bid of $5,767 to replace the dishwasher used by the school’s food service kitchen and approved purchasing it
• learned the district’s student count remained the same as the September count
• learned one the school’s boilers was failing and would have to be replaced along with a control box and a motor to keep the school’s heating system functioning and approved replacing the boiler• learned that Wellness Day would take place but activities would be modified to accommodate COVID restrictions