MFL MarMac considers adding soccer to its sports offerings

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By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


MFL MarMac is considering adding soccer to its slate of sports offerings.


If approved by the school board, superintendent Dale Crozier said the inaugural season would likely be in spring 2024, opposite the track and field and golf seasons. MFL MarMac could field separate boys and girls teams or even a co-ed squad.


According to high school principal Larry Meyer, a recent interest meeting attracted about 80 students, and he could see at least 30 of them participating.


“It was good for our kids to listen and hear what it was about,” Meyer said at the Nov. 14 school board meeting.


Guidance counselor Abbey Cottrell is one of several former soccer players and/or coaches on the MFL MarMac staff. She said 11 players are on the field at one time, but a team would ideally have double that amount.


While Cottrell is confident the Bulldogs would have enough players to participate, starting in 2023 would be too soon. Spring schedules have already been set, and the district will have to purchase equipment and uniforms.


“We’re going to have to think about who we’re going to play, and you have to put thought into what you’re going to need. Where are we going to play? Are we allowed to play on the football field? Those types of logistic questions that really need some time,” she said. “It feels too soon to say spring 2023. It takes time to get that initial framework started.”


“If we wanted to put it together and not do it with full justice, great, but I think we’re a district who likes to put things together and have everything in place,” Cottrell continued. “I know we have some seniors who are sad about it, but we had that conversation. This is something you’re building for the future.”


Interest in soccer has been growing within the district. This past spring, Bulldog Community Rec began offering the sport to younger kids. High school-age students have never played together, though.


“We’ve got players who’ve played, but they’ve never played together. They’ve played in Prairie or Waukon,” Cottrell said. “It takes some time to bring everybody together. You’d start with maybe some indoor soccer and get that team moving in the right direction, versus let’s just throw a team out there.”


Crozier likened MFL MarMac’s approach to the one it took for girls wrestling, which is now in its inaugural season.


“When I think of girls wrestling, we didn’t do that in a day. We took a slow and deliberate process, and that was to get it sanctioned,” he said. 


Crozier admitted adding soccer wasn’t previously among his priorities. He questioned if MFL MarMac was big enough to offer a sport that goes toe to toe with track and field and golf. 


“But there’s another factor with soccer. It’s so different. I think we can provide an additional opportunity to some of our kids,” Crozier said.


He feels the sport could also increase the district’s enrollment.


“Especially if we can work with economic development and housing—if there are a bunch of houses, people would move here. We’re going to need more things to offer if that happens, and it very well could,” Crozier stated.


“I’m comfortable recommending that the board moves forward with this,” he continued. “I’d like to see in January or February the board voting on this, then we’ll have a direction.”


Update on elementary construction

During her monthly report to the board, elementary principal Kathy Koether said construction on the elementary addition is going well. Brick was put up in the front of the building and windows will be installed in the next two weeks. The driveway has been blacktopped and the sidewalk completed.


“So the front of the building is looking great,” Koether said. “On the inside, there’s nice skeleton structures and the electrical work is being done right now. Everyone is getting excited for the end of the project.”


According to Koether, estimated project completion is mid-January.


New mission statement adopted

The school board approved MFL MarMac’s new mission statement: “Grow and achieve. Collaborate and believe.” The statement also includes a secondary focus that reads, “Providing career ready and college bound programs for all students. Providing research based social, emotional and physical growth for students and staff.”


Staff contracts approved

Several contracts were approved at last week’s meeting, including Liz Halverson as a paraprofessional, Kathy Kugel as wrestling cheer coach and Caleb Krzyszton as high school band director.

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