KING WILLIAM – Hamilton-Holmes Middle School will play two competitive soccer games with an opposing school, once more making progress towards offering its students a full-time sports program.
At January's King William County School Board meeting, the middle school was given approval to play Caroline County Middle School twice this spring in soccer. The games — one away, one home — are to be played March 18 and April 22, respectively. King William County Superintendent Mark Jones said the games will equate to a scrimmage for Caroline County.
Hamilton-Holmes Principal Beverly Young said Caroline County reached out to Hamilton-Holmes after having difficulty filling its own soccer schedule because, like Hamilton-Holmes, Caroline County's co-ed soccer program is new. Hamilton-Holmes' two games with Caroline County mark the first time the school will play another competitively.
"I would love to see competitive sports (at Hamilton-Holmes)," Young said in August. "The school board did look into competitive sports, however we'd have to do a great deal of traveling."
Hamilton-Holmes expanded its intramural sports program — first launched in February 2014 — in August to include fitness training and aerobic activities. It also offers seven-week programs in basketball, volleyball and flag football during various months of the school year. Young said the program has been a huge success in part because the school does not offer competitive sports to its students and only eighth-graders are allowed to try out for King William School Junior Varsity squads.
Young also said first estimates for adding competitive sports to Hamilton-Holmes' budget would increase expenditures by nearly $50,000. The total annual budget for Hamilton-Holmes' intramural program is $9,540, which covers teacher salaries — of which there are two per sport — as well as snacks and equipment.
Both Young and Jones agree the soccer games are a good start for establishing a full-time sports program
"We (Hamilton-Holmes) are getting our toes in the water and trying to create some new opportunities for students," Jones said.
McMillan can be reached by phone at 804-885-0042.