GM Sports Contracts Not Renewed


Payton Massey, Reporter

Sure, General McLane’s most popular sports are football, basketball, and volleyball, but what about sports like tennis and golf? The school board recently decided not to renew the annual supplemental coaching contracts for our tennis and golf teams, thus eliminating the teams altogether.

   True, most students may not care about these sports.  Perhaps this is only because society has shaped football, basketball, and volleyball into “the cool sports.” However, if the school’s basketball team was going to be cut a lot of people would be very angry, and there would likely be many complaints.

   Just because tennis and golf are not as highly praised as sports like basketball, volleyball, or football does that mean that they should have gotten ‘cut’? So the question is, why were these teams eliminated?

“The tennis coach resigned back in August because he took a full time job teaching,” stated athletic director Robert Kennerknecht. Kennerknecht continued explaining that when the head coach job was posted no one stepped up. “The cost effectiveness of the golf and tennis program were deemed to be something that could be handled in other ways,” Kennerknecht explains.

   “The golf team was removed from the payed school sponsored sports and will be run as a self funded varsity sport, meaning parents will form a booster group, they will raise the funds necessary to enter tournaments, run the course, and do everything they need to do,” explains Kennerknecht. He encourages student golfers, “to golf under the General McLane banner in the fall for the 2019 season.”

   The students in the class of 2019 that played golf were lucky enough to be able to play their senior year, unlike the students of this class who played tennis. Many tennis players were very sad to find out that their team was cut. Junior Keaton Bryson found out about the team being cut “through rumors.” Bryson continues explaining that there was no formal announcement about what was going to happen to the tennis team. Bryson stated, “I definitely could have found a coach, literally any of our parents could have been the coach.”      

   “I am very sad the team was cut my senior year, tennis was so much fun to play with all of my friends,” explains Senior Tyler Massey. Massey agrees with Bryson saying, “I know a lot of people wanted to play, so we could have found a coach and more players.” For Massey the worst thing about the team being cut was that he “won’t get to have fun with [his] friends and play a sport that [he] like[s].”

   Unlike the tennis team, the golf team had coaches who were invested in the team. GM Math teacher, James (Jim) Delsandro has been the head coach of the golf team since 2001. That’s longer than a lot of the students of GM have been alive. Delsandro explains that the only reason he got for his team being cut was that it was a “financial decision made by the school board.” Delsandro also verified that he always had enough players to take to matches. He explained that six students played in each match, but he always had 12-15 students.

   Overall Delsandro is sad about this news. He explained that, “Knowing kids won’t have the opportunity to play golf,” and knowing he won’t have the opportunity to coach and help kids out is very disappointing to him.

    Although golfers were able to golf this school year, unlike the tennis team which will not be formed at all this school year, the players are in the same situations. Underclassmen, like freshman Dane Jukes, who just started golf were especially sad to see the team go. “I was mad because it was my first year and I was ready to show off my stuff.” Jukes continues explaining how he was ready to get his varsity letter in golf, but will no longer have that chance. The worst part about the team being cut for Jukes was that after school in the fall he liked being active and playing golf but “now [he] can’t do that anymore.”

     Most kids that were on these teams played because it gave them something to do in the spring or fall, kept them in shape and active for other sports, and because it was fun. However it is possible that tennis or golf was the only sport some students played which makes it even more sad to see the teams go. These cuts will also affect other schools because now they will have one less team to play during their seasons.     

   Unless our students work to form club teams, they may no longer have the opportunity to play tennis or golf at GM.