by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Zimmerman will offer a middle school sports program, in partnership with District 728 Community Education, if there’s enough interest from students, announced Jaime Hilyar, activities director.
“We feel there should be something for kids in grades seven and eight to do right after school,” said Hilyar. “In our conference, the Granite Ridge, all the public schools have junior high sports, so we can schedule games. St. Cloud Cathedral is the only one that doesn’t.”
Zimmerman will offer boys and girls soccer and volleyball in the fall; girls and boys basketball and wrestling in the winter; and softball, baseball and track in the spring, said Hilyar. Middle school football is already offered through a local youth football association independent of the school.
The community education office will administer the Zimmerman program and hire coaches.
“We will run it like any other community education program,” said Cory Franson, “with all funding from consumer entry fees. Obviously, we need to see if we have enough kids sign up. We are trying to find coaches now.”
Franson said the middle school programs would not be as competitive as some of the youth sports organizations are.
“It’s more an opportunity for skill-building,” he said.
District 728 has funded middle school sports since 2000. At Elk River and Rogers, booster clubs and associations provide opportunities in several sports, while some programs (such as cross country, swimming, track, soccer) have JV and freshman teams that include grades 7-8.
Parents and students interested in joining a middle school sports team should contact Hilyar by e-mail (email@example.com) or phone (763-241-3508).