Students from Asotin are one step closer to being able to play soccer or participate in swimming at Clarkston High School.

On Monday, the Clarkston School Board approved co-ops with the Asotin-Anatone School District for both sports with a 2-1 vote.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association will still need to approve both co-ops, according to Shannon Wilson, athletic director of Clarkston High.

Wilson and Ryan Newhouse, the girls’ soccer coach at Clarkston, said they know of only a handful of Asotin students who would be interested in joining either sport.

But the option for Asotin kids to participate will provide an opportunity for more kids to continue on with sports they are interested in.

Asotin High School currently doesn’t offer soccer or swimming programs.

“The fact is, over the last five years, lots of (Asotin) kids dropped soccer, because they didn’t think there was an option,” Newhouse said.

The co-op would allow the junior varsity soccer squads to get more playing time, because on occasion, the team doesn’t have enough students to participate in games.

The numbers from Asotin would help “supplement, not supplant,” the teams, Wilson said.

If the numbers grew and students needed to be cut from the team, Newhouse said the co-op would be revisited at that time.

“We don’t want to cut Clarkston kids,” Newhouse said. “That’s not why this is being proposed. The numbers are at the point right now where, if we could get a few more (kids,) it’s going to increase a lot of playing time in games for developing on the JV squad. We don’t want to surpass that (number.)”

Clarkston High Principal Doug LaMunyan said he’s in favor of the co-ops because they don’t cost the district additional money. If students needed to be cut from the team, LaMunyan said, “the administration believes it would be the Asotin kids first.”

Currently, students who participate in sports at Clarkston High pay $30 to purchase a card from the Associated Student Body.

School board member Russ Davis asked the administration to look into a “pay to play” model in the future, which would charge an additional $50 for Asotin students who wished to partake in either sport.

The additional numbers may also help Clarkston High with its Title IX requirements, Wilson said, adding that fewer girls participate in sports than boys at the high school level.

The co-op will be evaluated on a yearly basis.

Lenz was the only board member at the meeting who voted against the co-ops.

“If you want to participate in Clarkston High School activities, then I think you should be enrolled in Clarkston High School,” he said after the meeting.

Board members Russ Davis and Miles Sidener voted in favor. School board members Meghan Pierce and Jim Nelly were absent.

In other news:

Following a report given by Superintendent Thaynan Knowlton, the school board decided it would hold off on placing a capital levy for security and technology on the November ballot. The levy could add more security cameras, enhance technology in classrooms and expand on technology-based curriculum.

Knowlton advised the board to run the levy at a later date, possibly in February, so there was more time to study the issue.

“I think it would be in our best interest to slow this down, do it in February, and see what needs are out there, what curriculum we want and what teachers are interested in,” Knowlton said.

Tomtas may be contacted at jtomtas@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2294. Follow her on Twitter @jtomtas.

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