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Lacrosse Group Still Pushing to Play in D228

District 228 administration still hasn't signed an emerging sports letter for lacrosse, which would allow the Oak Forest Fury, a high school club team made up of area students, to compete against other schools.

High school lacrosse players and their parents in Bremen High School District 228 just want one thing: a chance. The players want to take the field under the lights and compete against other high school teams, while the parents want a chance to cheer their children on at the varsity level. 

But they can't—yet.

The District 228 board of education, so far, has not signed off on an emerging sports letter, which is required by the Illinois High School Association to compete in lacrosse at the high school level. Without the letter, high school level lacrosse players in D228 cannot play other teams in the state.

“We are now the only team without that waiver signed in the Chicago Southland,” said Oak Forest Park District Commissioner Joe Conway, who is helping to lead the charge to get lacrosse into D228. “In the Chicago Southland, western suburbs and northern suburbs, we are the only team without that waiver signed.

"Where does that leave this high school team we have? With nobody to play.”

District Superintendent Bill Kendall believes the letter could become a moot point in the near future, but Conway doubts it.

“That letter is not going away, not for a while,” Conway said.

The other issue district administrators have loudly voiced as a concern with lacrosse is the cost the district could incur from the sport. However, Conway said that families and players interested in high school level lacrosse have that covered.

“What we're offering to the district is a fully functioning, up-and-running program, at no cost to them,” he said. “We can fund this thing, we are funding this thing, it's a pay-to-play sport. We wouldn't need one red cent from the district."

Players could expect to pay around $350 per year—a cost that would cover all the costs of a season-long schedule. The costs would cover everything from playing fields to travel, and everything in between, Conway said.

Though it took some time, the lacrosse group might finally be making some headway with the district. The group presented a plan to run the program to the district at its finance committee meeting Feb. 12.

Although no votes were cast, Conway said the group appealed to the committee to at least put a move to sign the emerging sports letter on the board of education's next meeting agenda.

Although no guarantee was given one way or the other, Conway said it was a positive meeting and a step towards their goal.

“We're hopeful,” Conway said. “We just want them to give us a chance to prove that we can do what we way we're going to do."

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Patrick February 28, 2013 at 02:14 PM
D230 fields are turf, not grass. Being involved with lacrosse for several years I would say there is less damage to a grass field than football.
Joseph Conway February 28, 2013 at 05:40 PM
"You may be confusing co-op versus club. Why won't IHSA let Lacrosse operate the same as Hockey?" I don't think I'm confusing this issue. The proposed teams would be four-school co-op teams. They would also be a club team that has a contract with the district to operate within the district during the school season. I believe that this is how hockey exists today.
Joseph Conway March 01, 2013 at 02:47 PM
@ sue1: Thanks for all your questions but the reality is that I don't have the time to carry on this conversation in front of my laptop. I'll do my best to answer your questions either in person or over the phone. You can contact me by leaving your name and number at this park district number and extension: 708-687-7270, Ext. 125.
Sue1 March 05, 2013 at 10:25 PM
Joe, Thanks for answering. In the post above, regarding club vs co-op, I was responding to the other poster.
Janelle Edwards March 07, 2013 at 03:44 AM
Jeff: Maybe you are not up on the current facts but Dr. Kendall has what is called an Evergreen Contract which renews every year and keeps his contract as a 5 year deal at $200,000 which would cost us taxpayers over a million dalloars to buy out. Where was this written in your column. You are a bipartiasan, Kendall apologist . How about reporting this Jeff: Since Dr. Kendall has assumed control Tinley Park has seen one of the largest ACT overall decrease in total overall score along with Oak Forest. Hillcrest has seen one of the largest decreases in graduation rates. The District is still embattled in a lawsuit with the former Supt that the baracuda on the board refuses to let go. How many other pending litigations are out there? People suing our district for sexual harassment, racial discrimination, age discrimination. And now kendall has to send an email out saying sorry for those employees who didn't receive a automated call about school eing canceled. he had no one else left to blame since his crony is the one who down-graded the system they currently have-so it was termed a system breakdown. Jeff: Where are you when its time to report these items?

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