“‘I greatly appreciate the sincere comments made to help better our program,” said middle-high school Principal, Dr. Cathie Allain, who hosted the meeting which had about 40 people in attendance.
“You came tonight because you care about our program,” she said. “I believe you came here tonight because you truly care about our kids.” Dr. Allain’s presentation, which can be found here, discussed the sports merger with New Lebanon, including team cuts and the chain of command. Other issues discussed were game rotations between the two school buildings and the importance of maintaining Mountaineer Pride. Game rotations will be reviewed by the athletic director in the coming weeks to make sure that each team is considered. Changes to the district logos, mascots and school colors are a change in the way the sports program operates and will be a Board of Education decision ultimately with the input of students and the community.
This year’s winter sports teams were announced, which include the newly added Bowling team as well as Boys Basketball—Modified, JV and Varsity—Girls Basketball— Modified, JV and Varsity—Boys Varsity Volleyball, Wrestling—Modified (possibly JV)—and Varsity Swimming.
Those trying out for winter teams will participate in a skills-based coach evaluation. This evaluation will be shared with parents of team members as well as parents of those cut from teams. All players who try out will be competing against each other for positions on the team. This is regardless of who the coach is or which school the coach comes from.
A suggestion by a parent in attendance was to schedule the different sports’ tryouts in order to keep options open for students who may be cut from one sport and interested in participating in another. This dialogue was an example of how important the input and relationship between the administration and families of student athletes is for the success of the program, according to Dr. Allain.
Dr. Allain added that the feedback from student athletes, parents, coaches and administration about how the athletes on merged teams are bonding and working together for a common goal has been very positive.
It was suggested by a parent that the more transparent is the communication between families of student athletes and the administration, the more relaxed and confident the student athletes and their families will be with the merger going forward.
There are still things to be worked out with regard to transportation, which will happen next week, and the final decision on remaining in the WASAREN league, which will be decided by July 2020. Dr. Allain stated that communication will be clearer and more frequent when it comes to the Berlin athletic program’s future.
“You all have my admiration for taking the time and coming here tonight,” Dr. Allain said. “I ask that you continue to support our coaches and our athletic director.”
The principal invited future comments and suggestions about the sports program.
“If you have complaints about our program, I promise I will welcome you and do all I can to answer your concerns.”