WNY Athletics

Sweet Home School Board at Odds Over High Risk Sports

There is some concerned parents in the Sweet Home school district that have confirmed to WNYAthletics.com that their sons or daughters might not be playing basketball after all.

This past Monday the Erie County Health Department paved the way for a return to high risk sports for youth leagues and high schools. However, not everyone is in favor of the measure.

The Sweet Home School Board is currently locked in a 4-3 vote to opt out of the return to basketball, hockey, competitive cheer football and volleyball. At least one board member made a passionate plea to halt any involvement with high risk sports, much to the dismay of parents.

“We elected them to represent us and do what’s right for our children,” Simone Clifford said. “Sweet Home has a rich history of competing in athletics.” Clifford has two sons in the district and her oldest boy, Noah is a member of the varsity basketball and football team. Should Sweet Home elect to pass on high risk sports, her son’s junior year of participating in athletics would be over before it started. “Sports plays a huge part in my both my sons lives. They know that unless they keep up on academics they will not be eligible to play. The coaches and administrators have been very creative in keeping my sons on track.”

Clifford plans on being at the next board meeting this Saturday morning where the final vote is expected.

Eric Abbate a senior at Sweet Home was looking forward to playing hockey his senior year. He was very optimistic that a season would happen upon hearing the news last week that high risk sports had the go-ahead. Now that the school board in his own district is looking to vote no on a return, he is not feeling as confident as he did previously. “I’m very disappointed,” Abbate said. “To see that my peers from other schools are going to play and I’m not, makes me sick.”

You may remember last fall Sweet Home delayed participation in soccer, cross-country and golf. The board was not convinced athletics was safe then, so it’s not surprising that their are concerns now.

The bottom line now is if you’re a parent of a student athlete in the Sweet Home School District, brace yourselves for being on the short end of stick. Your neighbors will be playing.


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