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Joyce Endee

Plans for Moultonboro football get green light

January 20, 2010
MOULTONBORO — After numerous discussions and previous opposing votes, the School Board voted in favor of giving the go-ahead to a potential cooperative football team with Inter-Lakes.

The School Board voted 3-2 in favor of giving approval for Friends of Moultonboro Football to approach the Inter-Lakes School District about a possible cooperative football team.

Friends of Football and Moultonboro Athletic Director Harry Blood had previously spoken to Inter-Lakes about forming a cooperative team between Inter-Lakes High School and Moultonboro Academy. Inter-Lakes officials supported the measure, though the Moultonboro School Board defeated it at the time.

After taking some time to regroup, Friends of Moultonboro Football approached the Moultonboro Board again on Dec. 8 to seek guidance in proceeding further and asked permission to approach Inter-Lakes again. The measure was defeated in a tie vote, though the School Board allowed the matter to be discussed again at the next meeting as one Board Member was absent on Dec. 8.

On Tuesday, the full board was present and heard the proposal. In the end Board members Mark Borrin and Bill Blackaddar voted in favor along with Board Chair Laurie Whitley, who had previously voted against the measure.

"I changed my mind," Whitley said. "Over the last month after much discussion and much consideration I felt there were more reasons to say yes than there were to say no."

Whitley initially voted against the measure with concerns about the program's sustainability given declining enrollment at Moultonboro Academy.

"I'm still very concerned about the sustainability of it," Whitley said.

Whitley said Friends of Moultonboro Football have committed to funding the Moultonboro portion of the team for two years. After two years they will return to the School Board to request funds, letting the district see how the effort evolves before asking to use district money.

Board members Kathy Garry and Fox Smith voted in opposition.

Friends of Moultonboro Football and Athletic Director Harry Blood now have the go-ahead to speak again with the Inter-Lakes School District about Moultonboro students taking part in a cooperative team, conversations that could lead to a draft letter of agreement between the two school boards.

After these discussions, the measure will be taken to the NHIAA for approval. Whitley said it is likely NHIAA will approve it as they were set to give the approval last year.

Bonner and Whitley said, if all works out, Moultonboro students will hopefully be practicing with Inter-Lakes students beginning in August as part of a cooperative team for the fall season.

The Friends group has raised $10,000 toward the $8,500 buy-in for the team and for uniforms. More money will still be raised.

Bonner said a 60/40 funding split between Inter-Lakes and Moultonboro might be established with 60 percent of the costs borne by Inter-Lakes and 40 percent by Moultonboro. Thus far 15 Moultonboro students have expressed interest in playing football and 10 have expressed interest in joining the spirit team.

Bonner said around 50 students turned out for Tuesday's meeting. Around 70 turned out for the Dec. 8 meeting.

"I'm thrilled. I think it's a tremendous opportunity for many of the kids in Moultonboro who want to try a new sport," Bonner said. "Anything that keeps kids happy and busy doing something is a good thing. The community really rallied behind it. It was very exciting. We just have so many great athletes in Moultonboro; this is quite an opportunity."

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