Status of LF soccer program undecided

The future status of the Little Falls’ soccer program was discussed at Monday night’s school board meeting.

Little Falls High School Activities Director Mike Ratzloff gave an update on the progress made in the soccer program this last year and requested that the School Board officially adopt soccer as a Minnesota State League activity. This would enable Little Falls’ soccer teams to participate in conference play.

“Last year’s modified program went wonderfully. There were approximately 39 girls and 36 boys firmly committed to the soccer program. We had enough kids to play both a varsity and junior varsity game weekly,” said Ratzloff.

School board members expressed concern about the additional money needed to bring the soccer program into the Central Lakes Conference. A budget of $15,000 was given to the soccer program last year, and a request of $22,000 was made for the upcoming season. “It would take another $7,000 to run boys and girls soccer. Due to the district’s financial situation at this time, I do not not know how we could approve this. The cost of the program would have to remain within the current budget to be approved,” said Superintendent, Dr. George Maurer.

Aware of the district’s budgetary problems, Ratzloff informed members of the school board that the money for this activity could be generated without affecting the current budget. “As it stands now, Little Falls charges less for tickets than the other members of our conference. By looking at past receipts, we discovered that if we raise the price of a ticket to $2 for students and $4 for the public, the district could gain approximately $12,000. Enough for the soccer program and more.”

Ratzloff reviewed past ticket receipts with the Director of Finance, Charles Herdegen, who concurred that, “The money could be raised this way.”

The school board was reminded by Ratzloff that, “We have a very strong summer feeder program for our soccer teams and, in actuality, we came in under budget last season. These kids are ready to compete in the conference. They have come a long way really fast and it would be a real shame to make them wait.”

The school board voted to postpone its decision while a review of ticket sales is done.

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