In a 5-0 vote, William S. Hart Union High School District officials approved the addition of lacrosse at West Ranch High, in an effort to increase opportunity for students, board member Steve Sturgeon said Friday.
“Lacrosse is a sport that its offered in a number of the private high schools, as well as some of the higher performing high schools in the Southern California area,” Sturgeon said.
Sturgeon said he was a big supporter of the effort, which has been more than a year in the making.
Concerns over the costs of adding a new sport in the middle of a budget crisis prompted board members to create a new extracurricular policy last August, officials said.
“The district hadn’t had a new sport for about 18 years and because also the budget crisis, they needed a process by which the sport can be self-funded,” according to one of the parents on the steering committee that was responsible for the sport coming to West Ranch High.
“Once the process was approved by the district we then knew what we had to do,” said Louis Esbin, who is on the committee. “We then met with the district and worked with the district on how we were to form the team.”
Esbin said he looked forward to seeing the program’s growth in the Santa Clarita Valley.
“So this year, we’re at West Ranch, and we hope to get interest at other schools, Valencia, Saugus, Hart, etc,” he said. “And we’d assist them in getting their programs approved, as well.”
The board also wanted to make sure new programs would be inclusive, and set a few requirements, Sturgeon said.
“We established what the core sports were for the district that they would continue to pay for and support,” Sturgeon said, citing the current sports on the slate: football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer and swimming .
In order for a new sport to be added, it must be self-funded and be able to provide funding for its first two years before it may be added, Sturgeon said. He said Valencia and Saugus officials have already been contacted in regard to adding the sport.
“My personal goal is to give students as many opportunities as we can in order to help them meet their personal goals,” Sturgeon said. “Now we have a school, and could have more schools in the future, where we could draw additional quality student populations.”