Grady Newsource Explains: Barrow County Reconsiders Middle School Sports

Apalachee High School Athletic Director Ralph Neely says the decision to add back some middle school sports was not a spur of the moment decision.

About five years ago, the Barrow County Board of Education made the hard decision to cut over half of its middle school sports programs. The recession caused board members to find a way to reduce education costs. They didn’t eliminate athletics altogether, but they cut six sports – leaving only five that students can participate in: basketball, cross country, football, track and spirit cheerleading.

Neely said that because the local economy is rebounding from the recession, it may be possible to start slowly integrating additional sports back into the middle schools. Neely believes sports and extracurricular activities to be “extremely valuable” to a students growth because it gives them something to invest in.

Neely said the board is likely to discuss this during the winter once more facts and budgets have been developed.

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