With school just around the corner for Antlers Public Schools, many exciting and some troubling things are starting to take place. A concern has been voiced about low participation numbers in regards to the Bearcat Football program this year and many are wondering if the program will proceed as normal.
In a meeting with Antlers Public Schools Superintendent Cary Ammons, he assured that the program will indeed continue this year as scheduled, but with lower than normal numbers.
“It’s concerning,” said Ammons, “that our numbers are down for participation. For a school our size we should have around 40 kids and right now are sitting between 15-18 but we anticipate that number going up. We are not far away from the 22 players we ended last season with.”
The numbers are there to start the season as planned but it maybe necessary to play in an iron man fashion (the same players being on both offense and defense for the entire game). On a bright note, the Bearcats will be sporting new football uniforms this year, as it was their turn in rotation.
“Injuries are the main concern when we have low participation numbers,” stated Ammons. “With kids having to play both ways it puts a lot of strain on their bodies and that increases the chances of them getting injured. If we have low numbers to start with and our players get hurt we might not have enough kids to finish out the season. We fully intend on starting our season as planned and right now we don’t know how it will be handled if the numbers are not present to play, but as of right now, we are playing.”
Many have also wondered what will happen to the Pride of Antlers Marching Band if the football season becomes jeopardized. The Band is still rocking away. If the football season falls, the band will still compete in marching competitions and proudly represent Antlers Public Schools. The only thing that they wont get to do is march during half-time.
Other exciting events that have been taking place at Antlers Public School are new curtains and lighting in the Auditorium, new buses including a new handicap bus, changing bus numbers (drivers and routes will not be affected), they are looking at starting a 5th grade basketball program this year with 8-10 games, looking into purchasing a new roof for the middle school, have added new playground equipment and basketball goals and a new high school mobile computer lab made up of all laptops. A new flagpole has also been erected complements of Burrage Law Firm.
But the most exciting thing of all is that all students attending Antlers Public Schools will receive free breakfast and lunch for the entire year. Antlers Public School has enter into an agreement called, Provision II Pricing. This program is what allows ALL students to eat free. The program runs on a 5-year cycle with the first year being a pilot year.
“The key to make this work is 100% participation concerning the lunch forms. Antlers Public School must continue asking parents to fill out and sign the back of these lunch forms, whether you think you are eligible or not,” urged Ammons. “Every public school district asks for these forms to be filled out and signed. You may ask, ‘Why?’ It’s funding, money to the district to provide programs and personnel.”
“We want our kids to enjoy coming to school and that is what we are trying to do,” said Ammons. “Providing the best possible education is the most important thing we can do for our kids and our staff is dedicated and determine to do just that. Morale is up and we plan on keeping it that way. ”