Girls lacrosse OK’d for varsity funding at Milford High

MILFORD – Parents and students erupted in applause and cheers Monday night as the school board voted to approve funding for junior varsity and varsity lacrosse programs at the high school.

Parents at the previous board meeting had pleaded for the sport, saying the 30 girls in the school’s lacrosse club had expected to be raised to team status after three years as a club and that didn’t happen.

Without a recognized team, they said, girls will lose out on scholarship opportunities, and some will go to other schools to participate in what they say is the fastest growing school sport.

Because of state scheduling restrictions, they said, if there is are no funds approved within the next couple of weeks, there will be no possibility the teams can be part of the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association for two years, because of the NHIAA’s scheduling cycle.

The money will pay for a varsity coach and a JV coach.

Schools Superintendent Robert Marquis prepared six options for the board, which settled on the $21,000 one: $9,200 for lacrosse, as well as $10,700 to fund the middle school “B” level basketball and volleyball program and $1,050 for bass fishing at the high school. The other three sports were included for fairness, he said.

Marquis, however, warned of possible reductions in revenue in the years ahead, because the new administration in Washington does not appear to support public education.

And school board member Bob Willette noted Milford’s tax rate is the third highest in Hillsborough County, and “that $21,000 will add to your taxes.”

One of the parents, Keith Waters, noted the more than $300,000 surplus in the district’s budget for this year and a savings of more than $100,000 in building renovation projects, “yet we are scrambling over” $20,000.

Parent Carla Boudreau thanked the board, saying they are making things better for all the girls who play.

Board members voted unanimously to OK the funding, and thanked the parents for their interest.

“It’s so heartening to see so many of you come out here,” said Jenni Siegrist. “Typically we are surrounded by cricket noises.”

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@cabinet.com.

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