BRADFORD — The Bradford Board of Education voted unanimously to continue its football program’s involvement in the Cross County Conference during its meeting on Monday evening.
The vote followed an executive session that the board held for the purpose of discussing personnel.
The board followed the recommendation of the football committee. Earlier in the meeting, Bradford Superintendent Joe Hurst went over a presentation on the high school’s football program, including costs, gate ticket sales and student participation.
In regard to gate ticket sales at home football games between 2015-18, the school raised an average of $2,000 per home game with a total average of around $9,000 per season.
Hurst went over transportation costs for away football games between 2015-18, pointing out that the transportation costs are “about double” during the seasons the football program was independent compared to when it was affiliated with the CCC due to having to travel longer distances to away games.
The highest transportation costs between 2015 and 2018 were in 2015 and 2016 when the school was independent, which were approximate totals of $3,666 and $5,366, respectively. The school averaged approximately $750 per away game.
The approximate totals for the transportation costs in 2017 and 2018 were $2,163 and $2,668, respectively. The school averaged approximately $350 per away game between 2017 and 2018 when the school participated in the CCC.
Hurst also went over team history, including its affiliation, won-lost records and size of the football teams in recent years:
• 2017, CCC affiliation, varsity schedule, record 0-10, 28 players
• 2016, independent, varsity schedule, record 3-7, 32 players
• 2015, independent, varsity schedule, record 4-6, 34 players
• 2014, independent, junior varsity schedule, record 1-9, 17 players
• 2013, CCC affiliation, varsity schedule, record 0-10, 32 players
Total gate sales, including those beyond the football program, were $37,029 in 2017; $36,351 in 2016; $37,957 in 2015; $27,693 in 2014; and $46,717 total in 2013.
Hurst also went over the 2018 season, explaining that, prior to the season, high school principal Matt Triplett met with interested players. Approximately 24 boys committed to being on the team in the spring in 2018, but they all did not stay committed. The most amount of players they had for the 2018 football season was 16 players, and the smallest amount was 13 players.
“This year, again Mr. Triplett has gone through, not only met with any interested boy, but he has met with every boy (in) grades eight through 11 to find out what kind of interest we have,” Hurst said.
Hurst also mentioned that there was some interest from girls in possibly participating in the football program.
Going into the 2019 season, five members of the current football team will graduate, and they are expecting to bring in nine players from the eighth grade. Hurst said that he and Triplett came up with 26 students who committed to play on next year’s football team.
“I felt like the majority of them are pretty firmly committed, more so than last year’s committed players,” Triplett said during the meeting.
He said that he felt like they would have “probably around 20” players if some of those committed players decided not to participate in the fall.
Hurst also went over surveys that were sent out to students and parents. Among 47 responses for why some students did not want to play, 14 students said that they did not like football and did not want to play, six said they were involved in other sports or activities, and 10 said it was because they might get hurt. Other reasons included the team not winning, not being good at football, work, grades and parents.
In the student survey when they were asked about how to make the experience of the football program better, the suggestions including more lifting and conditioning, more players, “better coaches,” better safety, more wins and so on.
On the other hand, Hurst pointed out one survey where a student said, “I’ll play no matter what,” which Hurst said made him “well up with pride.”
In a survey for parents, their suggested weaknesses of the program included coach turnover, “poor coaching,” parents, numbers, school pride, weight training and lack of respect.
When asked if their student was not playing football, 21 parents gave the reasons of low numbers or injuries, “bad/experience coaches,” other students, not interested, involvement in other sports and so on.
Members of the football committee who were present during the board meeting said that the decision was not easy, but they came to the recommendation to stay with the CCC.
“We heard a very strong support of staying with the conference,” Hurst said.
Hurst said that they heard that from their kids, who said that they have built bonds with players from other nearby schools who participate in the CCC.
In other news:
The board voted 4-0 for board member Dr. Scott Swabb to be the president of the board. Swabb abstained from the vote.
The board also voted 3-1 for board member Maria Brewer to be the vice president of the board. Board member Mike Miller voted against the measure. Brewer abstained from the vote.
During student spotlight, the board recognized second grade students Jackson Felver and Liam Lingo. Felver was nominated by second grade teacher Jamie Sink. Second grade teacher Dustina Erwin read a statement from Sink, who said that Felver “tries hard and does his best work every day.” Sink’s statement went on to say, “I know I can count on Jackson to come to school every day with a smile on his face, ready to learn. Jackson has a wonderful personality.” Sink also commended Felver for being “honest, trustworthy and dependable.”
About Lingo, Erwin said that he loves math and thinks it’s fun. “At school, Liam is an extremely hard worker. He is always committed to trying and doing his absolute best. Liam’s kind, caring and friendly character make him a role model for classmates. Liam tackles new challenges seriously and with a positive attitude.”
The board also recognized sophomore Justin Bryan during the student spotlight, who was nominated by agricultural education teacher Nic Baumer. Bryan is in Baumer’s animal and plant science class and is currently serving as the Bradford FFA Chapter Secretary.
“Justin has jumped in head first when it has come to being involved in the FFA,” Baumer said. “He started out as a freshman, getting involved in attending FFA meetings, and soon that turned into competing in the General Livestock Judging Career Development event, attending the Ohio FFA State Convention and going to the Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum last summer.” Baumer added that Bryan “gets his duties done well and on time.” Bryan is currently leading a group in planning National FFA Week, which takes place in February.
During the staff spotlight, Hurst and the Bradford schools thanked the board members for their service to the district. Hurst named January as the school board appreciation month, thanking the board for its work. Media teacher Sharon Moore and one of her classes put together a tribute video for the board, speaking with staff members around the building who thanked the board individually. The tribute video also included numerous classes thanking board as groups.
Also during its meeting, the board scheduled its regular monthly meetings to remain the same this year, being held at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month in room 404 at Bradford Exempted Village Schools, 760 Railroad Ave.