EDUCATION & SCHOOLS

Weber School District forms committee to decide if football continues at junior high schools

Nov 8, 2023, 10:57 PM | Updated: 10:58 pm

OGDEN — A vicious rumor, or a glimpse of what’s right around the corner?

That’s what some parents and coaches in the Weber School District are asking themselves. They’re wondering whether football will continue at the nine junior high schools in the district.

WSD says there is no vote next month to determine the future of football at their nine junior high schools, but coaches and students say that’s not what they’ve heard.

“The word we’re getting is — it’s over,” Steven Barela said.

He was a coach this year at South Ogden Junior High School. Barela coached many of the same boys in recreation leagues for years before but said this was different.

“The school spirit changes everything,” Barela said. His son just finished playing his ninth-grade year at the school. He really hopes rumors circulating aren’t true.

Weber School District released this statement to KSLTV today:

Weber School District is one of the last remaining districts in the state to host football at the junior high school level. Declining interest and lack of participation at some schools has raised concerns over student safety and the ability to effectively continue the program.

The district has nine junior high schools with the new Mountain View Junior High slated to open next school year. In recent years, some junior high schools have had to combine with another nearby school to be able to field a team. Having a limited number of players on a roster creates unique challenges and concerns over player safety. Schools typically play six games per season, not counting playoffs games.

The district has started the process of forming a committee to study the issue. The committee will be composed of district administrators, school administrators, coaches and parents. The committee will be tasked with looking at all of the different variables in determining whether or not to continue the program. The committee will then make a recommendation to the board of education.

Although initial conversations have taken place regarding this process, nothing has been decided. Unfortunately, some misinformation is already circulating in some communities. The committee still needs to be formed, the study conducted, and then a recommendation will be made to the board who will make the final decision.

Corbin Duran just finished his ninth grade year at Orion Junior High. He played tight end and middle linebacker. He heard the rumor too.

“I was devastated,” Duran said. “I was wondering why.”

Duran lit up when he talked about the game.

”I love the thrill about football,” Duran said. “I love the coaches and I love all my teammates around me.”

That alleged misinformation is concerning enough for some parents and coaches to speak up. Their hope now is that they can save a program they believe changes lives.

“It helps develop our kids into better human beings,” Coach Barela said.

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Weber School District forms committee to decide if football continues at junior high schools