BY CAROL HICKS
The Youth Wrestling group held a discussion at Thursday’s meeting with members of the Hoopeston school board about adding 5-year-olds to the roster before a vote could be taken on the Youth Wrestling Agreement for 2012-2013 school year.
The previous agreement approved ages for wrestlers as those in the first to third grade in one group and fourth through eighth grade in the second group of wrestlers.
"I don’t see why we couldn’t bring them (5-year-olds) in. It’s a small group," said Lee Curry, a member of the Hoopeston Youth Wrestling program, "that are siblings of the wrestlers."
The discussion hinged around liability and responsibility if a 5-year-old were hurt wrestling. Curry added the organization purchases insurance through the Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation so all wrestlers are covered if an injury occurs.
Board member Chris Small hard time with the fact that 5-year-old bodies were not developed enough for wrestling.
"Have you ever seen a 4- or 5-year-old wrestle?" asked Brock Shore, another YW member. "I have never see a 4- or 5-year-old come off the mat hurt. Younger kids are the least likely to get hurt."
Curry added the children wrestle in their own age groups, which is the same as in the football and baseball programs.
The second part of their discussion was whether or not to bring in Rossville or keep the wrestling program local.
"We need a legal opinion about a school-sponsored program," said Superintendent Hank Hornbeck regarding Rossville’s K-8 wrestling. "We’d be taking some risks without some legal opinion."
Middle school principal Ann Burton also added the kindergarten wrestling would have to be offered to all kindergarten-age children, not just a select few.
Larry Jahn, school board member, stated, "It’s (Youth Wrestling) been very successful, move it down to kindergarten for one year and decide next year (whether to keep kindergarten)."
Board members approved unanimously the Youth Wrestling Agreement for 2012-2013 year to include kindergarten this year. The Rossville discussion was tabled.
In other school board business:
Learned the Regional Office of Education did a full compliance check of Hoopeston’s manuals and procedures and gave Hoopeston a "shining star," according to Hornbeck. He added that Wednesday the Regional Office of Education would come to inspect the new office and bus garage building for approval. The offices would be moved during the Christmas break.
Learned the Christmas Concert is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 9.
Learned the Hoopeston FFA received first place in the agronomy contest this past week.
The board unanimously passed the 2012 tax levy for 2012. The estimated total property taxes to be levied were $3,189,000, an 8.7 percent increase over the previous year.
Kevin Root was approved as the 2012-2013 freshman boys basketball coach and Jon Layden as the junior varsity boys basketball coach.
Hoopeston Area school board members will meet at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 20 in the District Office conference room.