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Students surveyed about future of DW Athletic Combine

DAYTON-Middle and high school students participated in a survey last week concerning the combined athletic programs with Waitsburg and here. This gave students an opportunity to weigh in on the future of the combined sports programs, rather to contract another two years or to go our separate ways. Some of the logistic concerns discussed were transportation, practice location, long-term effects of the combination and especially the Dayton/Waitsburg (DW) team mascot.

The combined athletic program was contracted for two years and put into place last year. This school year is the second year of the middle and high school all-sport combined athletic programs. Because we are approaching the end of the contract time, the schools, and the combine board members must make the decision whether to continue this union, or to separate.

Both communities and their students have held the tradition of great sports teams a priority for years, but with low participation numbers over the last decade has caused an issue with team viability and safety. Combining the all sports program has provided an opportunity to offer athletic programs, especially for students presently in high school. Students have the choice to play football, volleyball, basketball, cheer, baseball, softball, track and field, and golf. Even though Dayton have full participation for some sports and ample athletes to fill a team, it is not for all. Coming together with Waitsburg has been beneficial for both schools at this time.

Due to the large number of Middle School (grades 6-8) student athletes, there are concerns about the combined athletic program, namely the decreased playing time. Something that will need to be addressed if they are to prepare for Junior Varsity and Varsity sports.

The current high school students, however, are in desperate need of the combine program to form a team. This will change as the upcoming middle school athletes advance into high school and the numbers increase.

In light of the immediate situation, to play all of the sports we love, there is a need to continue working with Waitsburg.

The students have given their input, to affect, impart, an informed decision.