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School district surveys student interest on new sports offerings

The Western News | May 25, 2021 7:00 AM

Administrators with Libby Public Schools have sent out a survey to gauge student interest in new athletic activities.

Jim Germany, district athletic director, told school board members on May 10 that schools send out surveys every few years at the behest of the Montana High School Association. While the district does not have plans to add sports to its current offerings, Germany said the surveys could come in handy if ever the opportunity presented itself.

Creating high school baseball leagues was among the options listed in the recent survey. Germany said MHSA has created a committee to look into the feasibility of adding the activity.

As both a member of the school district and an announcer for the Logger Legion baseball team, Germany was torn over the idea of a public school league.

“They asked me to be on the committee and I definitely want to be because Legion baseball is what I do all summer,” he said. “That’s kind of my love and passion. I don’t want to lose Legion.”

Germany noted that Montana is one of only three states in the nation without public school baseball leagues.

Girls flag football is another sport MHSA is seeking input on. Germany said a few students had already expressed some interest in the activity.

Some sports under consideration, like lacrosse and rugby, have gained traction in larger communities but failed to take hold in more rural areas of the state.

MHSA officials are also hoping to gauge interest for esports, or competitive multiplayer video games. Public schools do not commonly organize teams for popular esports such as League of Legends and Dota, but the games have gained traction among high school students.

Anecdotally, Germany said he has seen strong interest from students in forming a badminton team.

While the survey might not result in any change to the district’s offerings, Germany said he still appreciated hearing from students.

“I like doing it because you get to hear from the kids on what they would like to see,” he said.