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Clear Spring starts making its game plan

School board's vote to OK to start a football program has town anticipating first snap of the season.

School board's vote to OK to start a football program has town anticipating first snap of the season.

February 28, 2003|by MARK KELLER

keller@herald-mail.com

The town of Clear Spring will soon be basking in the glow of Friday night lights.

The Washington County Board of Education on Tuesday approved the start of a football program at Clear Spring High School, the last county public school without football.

"It's very exciting for the school," athletic director Lisa Shives said. "We have a lot of kids interested in playing. In the past, we've lost some kids to WIlliamsport because we did not offer football. It'll be nice to keep some of those kids."

Clear Spring, which will join the revamped Monocacy Valley Athletic League in the fall, will field only a junior varsity team for one year and play its first varsity contest in 2004.

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Two previous attempts by Clear Spring to launch a football program - one in 1987 and another in the early 1990s - failed for numerous reasons, including lack of funds to get the program off the ground and a sense of apathy within the school and the community.

The Clear Spring Football Committee has been raising money for more than a year, trying to come up with the initial $40,000 needed to get the program off the ground.

"They're within striking distance," Clear Spring principal Marty Green said. "They'll certainly have it by the time of the first practice on Aug. 15."

The Board of Education has designated $12,000 in its proposed budget to help with startup costs for the Clear Spring program.

Green said the fear that a football team could take players away from the school's soccer program is always there, but that it's not his place to deny students that want to play football that opportunity.

"When I was at Northern Garrett it was exactly the reverse," Green said. "They wanted to start a soccer team but they didn't want it to kill the football program.

"I think as administrators, we have to be pro-kids. It benefits us all to get them involved and allow the kids to make the choice."

Though the coaching position has not yet been advertised, Green said he has received three applications for the position. He would not reveal the names of the applicants.

Green said he expects to advertise the position next week.

"We've had significant interest from people who want to be the first coach at Clear Spring," Green said. "One of the tricks is finding a teaching position for that person. We'll see what happens."

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