Girls’ softball program fundraising to pay for third team

— In response to the Cazenovia Board of Education’s decision not to fund a third girls’ softball team but instead allow program participants and supporters to raise the $4,000 necessary for the team and submit it as a donation to the district, the district softball program has begun a fundraising effort.

The effort has a two-pronged approach, according to a letter recently sent out by varsity softball head coach Ed Roickle: the first is a T-short and sweatshirt sale, while the second is a continuation of an ongoing returnable bottle and can effort at Caz Cans on Route 20.

The T-shirt and sweatshirt sale began last week by program players. For further information about the sale, people may contact either Coach Vicki Gilliland at vgilliland@caz.cnyric.org or Coach Mandi Millen at mmillen@caz.cnyric.org at Cazenovia Central School.

For the returnable bottle and can effort, all people need to do is return their items at Caz Cans and tell them to put the proceeds on the Cazenovia Softball account. All moneys raised will go to the CCSD Softball Fundraising Account.

Also, anyone who wishes to contribute funds either directly or anonymously to this effort can contact Gilliland, Millen or Roickle (eroickle@gmail.com) to do so.

The school board discussed the softball program issue during its Jan. 27 regular monthly meeting, during which students, parents, coaches and other supporters of the district’s girls’ softball program overflowed the BOE meeting room and made numerous comments on the importance of adding a second modified team to accommodate the large influx of new seventh grade players moving up this year.

Without the addition of a second modified team, supporters said, the program will have to cut about a dozen players this year since the program currently has no junior varsity team and the modified and varsity teams can only have a certain number of players. Such a circumstance could permanently harm the future of the program, since cut players may move to another sport, some argued.

After much discussion, the board agreed to inform the players and parents that if they can raise the $4,000 or so needed to pay for an additional modified coach, then the district will pay the $500 in umpire fees and the program can have the second modified team this year. The board agreed to discuss the idea again during its regular February meeting.

Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at editor@cazenoviarepublican.com.

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