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Cross country coming to Dresden?

Cross country coming to Dresden?
Due to an issue of liability, Weakley County School Board members put Dresden Middle School’s request to approve the addition of cross country as a sport on hold until a meeting can be arranged with the school system’s attorney. This past Thursday afternoon at the board’s August monthly meeting, the possibility of adding the sport was discussed as an item on the agenda, but action was ultimately paused until liability and rule violations can be considered. “Last year Roy Herron asked that we try to get cross country passed as a sport, but because it wasn’t and we can’t be part of the TSSAA, we were going to non-sanctioned competitions,” DMS principal Pam Harris explained. “We’d just like to get it approved as a sport so that students can receive the recognition as school athletes.” “It’s really a practice issue. That’s the main thing,” Dresden High School Principal Chuck West added. “It’s a practice issue, not a meet issue. If the middle school students practice at the same time with the high school students and coach, it could be a possible violation of TSSAA rules.” If DMS students were to practice under the direction of Coach Lowry, a coach at Martin, or another coach from a TSSAA school, liability and rule violation would be an issue, but to practice under the direction of a volunteer coach would be a safer and legal option. However, due to the confusion over both liability and rule violations, the board voted to amend an earlier motion and put the hiring of volunteer coach Todd Maxey on hold until legal counsel takes place. “It would be legal with a volunteer coach, but in a way, this is sort of like AAU basketball,” Director of Schools Richard Barber admitted. “I’d like to take this up with our attorney before making any decisions or moves. They can’t practice with the high school. They can go to meets, but not as a school function until this is clarified through the attorney.” “This is nothing against Mr. Maxey,” School Board Chairman Gordon Morris additionally stressed. As this past Thursday was the first official day of school for the 2008-09 academic year, Barber reported that, so far, things were “relatively quiet.” Final work on sanding the floors at Martin Middle School is taking place as well as painting at Westview. Official enrollment numbers should be in today, according to Barber, and everything looks to be in “good shape.” “We are so blessed in Weakley County,” board member Joan Pritchett commented. “My grandkids go here now and I feel they’re safe. I know they’re in good hands.” In other business, the board voted Pritchett and Barbara Trentham back into the positions of trustees of the sick leave bank. The following coaches were approved on a volunteer basis: Brent Jolley, DMS football; Marla Rook, DMS cheerleading; Rusty Darby, Greenfield football; Ontario McNeal, Greenfield junior high girls’ basketball; Sue Johnson, Westview band; Kendra Leke, Westview band; Chad Levister, MMS girls’ basketball; Blake Stigall, MMS football; Chris Vincent, MMS softball; Matt Hewett, DHS football; Drew Vernon, DHS football; Laura Leahy, MMS cheerleading and Europe Hall, MMS cheerleading. Congratulations was extended to the members of the DHS FCCLA for placing first in the nation at the FCCLA National Leadership meeting. Keely Adams, Anne Alford and Brittany Duggin competed in national programs in action and financial fitness senior division. The next meeting of the Weakley County School Board will take place at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 4 at Gleason School. WCP 8.12.08

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