Shared ski team a win-win for Johnsburg, North Warren schools

2011-12 alpine ski team for Johnsburg Central School/North Warren Central School

2011-12 alpine ski team for Johnsburg Central School/North Warren Central School

— Johnsburg Central School and North Warren Central School boards recently approved the merger of their ski teams for a third straight year.

JCS Superintendent Mike Markwica said the move allows the districts to save money and that more students benefit with the shared service.

“I think it is great when kids get more opportunity to do the things that they like, and I’m happy we get to do this together,” Markwica said. “We had the program (at JCS) and they didn’t have enough students to compete with a full team, so it was a win-win.”

Markwica said the measure comes to a vote every year, and JCS board members approved again for the 2012-2013 school year during their Oct. 9 meeting. The North Warren School Board also approved involvement in the program.

During their Oct. 22 meeting, JCS Board members approved the coaches for the program: Gary Wilson as the Varsity Nordic Ski Coach, Steve Tomb as the Modified Nordic Ski Coach, and Peter Burns as the Alpine Ski Coach.

“This is great for the kids,” NWCS Superintendent Joseph Murphy said. “Our good skiers get to work and train with the coaches and other good skiers. It’s important for their training to becoming great athletes.” 

Murphy said the sharing of services worked out a few years ago to allow a JCS student to participate in the school’s bowling team. Now the shared ski team — which originated in 2010 — is proving to be a ongoing partnership between the two districts.

NWCS Athletic Director Jason Humiston said that the 2007-2008 school year was the last year his school had a ski team. Enrollment was down, and the team needed at least five players competing to qualify for matches.

“When we had our own team, our numbers were so thin sometimes we couldn’t compete,” Humiston said. “We wanted our kids on a team that would always be able to qualify and it’s worked out well for all of us since.”

Currently three NWCS students have signed up for the alpine team and one is on the nordic team.

Students provide their own transportation to Johnsburg, and the school pays the meet fees for using the ski mountain’s facilities. The fees usually run $10 to $16 per meet.

The JCS handles all of the coaches’ fees and transportation fees from the school, and students from NWCS provide transportation to the JCS and pay for their ski passes.

The shared services save NWCS at least $2,443 annually for a skiing coach.

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