Updates from your Hettinger/Scranton co-op

•New uniforms on the way for basketball, baseball

By COLE BENZ | Record Editor

•New uniforms on the way for basketball, baseball

After more than six years of wear-and-tear, the boys and girls basketball teams will be donning new home uniforms for the 2017-2018 season.

The baseball team will also be getting new uniforms, but they will be receiving them for this season.

Athletic Director Jon Kohler said that common practice is to purchase uniforms on a 4-year rotation, but said because of the creation of the co-op, it’s been hard to start that rotation.

“It’s kind of hard, how do you start that rotation when you bought all brand new uniforms,” he said.

•Football team getting helmets reconditioned, looking to raise funds for new face masks

Forty-one football helmets are out for reconditioning and recertification. The reconditioning and recertification are all a part of player safety standards. And equipment needs to go through this process every few years to make sure they are still suitable for gameplay and practices, and it’s required.

“That’s state law, we can’t get around that at all,” Kohler told the school board at the March meeting. “Every three years they have to be inspected and reconditioned.”

On the aesthetic side of the uniforms and equipment, Kohler said that head coach Randy Burwick will be holding fundraisers in the coming weeks to buy new face masks for the team. Currently, the masks on the helmets are black, and Burwick would like to change things up a bit and go to white masks. Kohler said the plan is to get the funds raised and equipment purchased in time for the 2017 football season.

He added that the staff and players can actually make the change on the helmets, the task doesn’t need to go to a certified equipment manager.

•Viability of cross country and golf programs comes to the forefront

Student participation in the golf and cross country programs has dipped in recent years. And due to those dwindling numbers, the school boards of both Hettinger and Scranton voted to dial back some support, but the schools will still sponsor both programs.

“The idea is to sponsor the programs, of cross country and golf,” Kohler said at the March school board meeting. “But with such low numbers, we won’t pay a coach, we will have to rely on parent volunteers.”

The motion voted upon said that “based on the number of participants in golf and cross country, the co-op will no longer provide coaches and transportation. Students may participate if parents provide transportation, supervision, and comply with the North Dakota High School Athletic Association requirements.”

At the board meeting, they thought that there may be between two and four participants with the cross country team next year.

This year, there are six golfers out for the team, but the format of the golf tournaments is what make the logistics of support difficult. The activities association schedules girls, boys, junior high boys, and junior high girls tournaments separately. None of them are held at the same time and location, according to Kohler.

“It’s really tough though, when you only have one coach, and they have a girls tournament and a boys tournament on the same day, then you’ve got to pick,” he said.

The motion, which was voted on in Hettinger after it had already passed in Scranton, passed with a unanimous decision.

By sponsoring the programs, the schools still agree to pay for the entry fees.

Coaches, even if volunteering, would still need to acquire all the necessary credentials and pass required tests with the North Dakota High School Activities Association.

These changes will go into effect for the 2017-2018 school year.

•Coaches needed for the co-op

Kohler said that the co-op is finding it increasingly difficult to find team coaches.

“The big thing is finding coaches, we are having a hard time finding coaches,” he said.

Most of the varsity head coaching positions are filled, but the teams need more support through assistant coaches.

One of the big deterrents, according to Kohler, may be the fact that coaches need to acquire their commercial driver’s license (CDL). As a part of the co-op it is a requirement to hold a CDL, and that process can be somewhat of a nuisance for people.

But the school is there to help.

Interested parties would be required to finance the study materials and written part of the exam. But the school will help in training and studying for the road test, and reimburse the cost of that portion.

“Once you get the written part done, than we would train you and show you how to pass your driver’s test,” he said.