For at least one more season, Roy-Hart High School will field a football team.
Roy-Hart Sports Boosters Club President Rick DeWaters said he presented a check last Thursday to district superintendent Kevin MacDonald to cover the cost for fielding a varsity team in 2010. The boosters donated $20,312 to cover the cost for fielding a football team.
It was expected that football and modified sports would not be offered to district students during the 2010-11 academic year due to the trickle down effect of the state budget crisis. Roy-Hart had its state aid cut by $2.3 million, and the school budget recently approved by residents did not include funds for football or modified sports.
While it's believed that between $27,000-$29,000 would be needed to fund a varsity team, the administration and athletic director Brad Halgash met with school-district coaches who agreed to decrease their operating budgets to make up the difference, according to school board president Patti Riegle.
"The board of education was very grateful that the community came forward to help raise money in order to reinstate the football program," she said.
"I wouldn't call it a miracle but I suppose if you believe in them I guess it was," said DeWaters, who added that all the cash came from various fundraisers. "I call it a lot of hard work by a lot of dedicated individuals in a great community. .‚.‚. The community really stepped up."
According to the schedule at the Section VI Web site (section6.e1b.org/section6/site/default.asp), Roy-Hart opens the season at 7 p.m. Sept. 3 at Gowanda.
DeWaters also said the boosters also plan to present a check to the school board to fund modified sports for the fall season for district seventh- and eighth-graders.
"We will continue to fundraise so that we can get modified sports back for winter and spring seasons," DeWaters said.