Liberty Elementary (top) and (bottom, L-R) 10th Street Middle, Cascade Elementary, Marysville-Getchell High and Shoultes Elementary schools. (Marysville School District)

Liberty Elementary (top) and (bottom, L-R) 10th Street Middle, Cascade Elementary, Marysville-Getchell High and Shoultes Elementary schools. (Marysville School District)

Failed levies slashed Marysville sports; now, county will fund some

Through a county grant, the Boys and Girls Club and YMCA will host on-campus athletics for grades 6 to 8, but not in the WIAA.

MARYSVILLE — Middle school sports are back in Marysville schools. Snohomish County is fronting the bill.

On Wednesday, multiple nonprofit and government agencies announced they will partner to restore on-campus athletic teams in the Marysville School District. The district cut middle school sports to help balance the budget after two failed attempts to renew a four-year education programs and operations levy.

Under the partnership, Snohomish County agreed to pay $75,000 in “seed money” for “alternative sports programs,” said Snohomish County Council Member Nate Nehring. The Marysville and Tulalip Boys and Girls Clubs will run volleyball and flag football in the fall, and the Marysville YMCA will run soccer and basketball in the spring.

Nehring, whose council district includes Marysville, said the seed money will come from the county’s leftover Human Services Department grant funds. It will pay for the cost of a program coordinator, referees, some equipment and a portion of the recreation team participation fees.

“I attended schools in Marysville, and I coached in schools … so seeing middle school sports cut entirely was hard to see in my hometown,” Nehring said. “I wanted to see what we could do to provide some sort of alternative.”

The county funding covers just the 2022-23 school year, so the school district will “need to find a way to make this sustainable” if it wants to continue offering the programs, Nehring said. The district is expected to put another levy on the ballot in February 2023, though revenue from that levy, if it passed, would not be available until 2024.

The teams will not be run by the school district, and they will not be affiliated with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, the organization that typically manages public school sports teams. Rather, students will sign up for the existing recreational league offered through the Boys and Girls Club and a new, school-based intramural league through the YMCA. Those programs will offer some practices and games at school sites.

“We are trying to keep it right down the middle between what we normally do and what the school does,” said Tom Cohee, athletics director for the Marysville and Tulalip Boys and Girls Club. “The biggest part of it is getting to offer this recreational outlet to the kids.”

Cohee said the experience will be “a little bit different” from what students are used to with the WIAA teams. For example, the volleyball and football athletes will play on a team with a mix of similarly aged students from Marysville, including players who are not enrolled in the school district, as opposed to a strictly school-based team. The basketball and soccer programs will host Marysville middle school students in an independent league of teams from those schools.

“My goal … is that we would get two to three teams per gender, per school, so that then they would be able to play other schools during the season,” said Allison Hoot, youth sports director for the Marysville YMCA. “It would be set up similar to an actual sports season.”

None of the programs will compete against school-based teams from other school districts.

Some sports may look different, too. Students this year will play flag football as opposed to tackle football traditionally played in schools, because the Boys and Girls Club doesn’t offer tackle football, Cohee said.

The teams will be led by volunteer coaches. Cohee and Nehring encouraged community members to sign up to coach, so the programs can be successful.

“The nonprofits are stepping up in a big way here … and the district is providing the facility use for this,” Nehring said. “But there is a need or a request from the community, and that’s the coaching, the volunteer piece, because typically the district would pay for coaches, and we don’t have the funding to do that.”

Cohee added: “Without coaches, the kids can’t play.”

In a prepared statement, School Board Member Wade Rinehardt said the board is “absolutely pleased” by the decision.

“This is absolutely a case where the District, the County, and the Marysville community are coming together to fill a need,” Rinehardt said. “I am sure that this partnership will bear amazing experiences for our middle school students and the community at large.”

Students can sign up for the programs directly through the Boys and Girls Club or YMCA. There is a $125 fee to play — paid to the organization and not the school district — but need-based scholarships are available.

Mallory Gruben is a Report for America corps member who writes about education for The Daily Herald.

Mallory Gruben: 425-339-3035; mallory.gruben@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @MalloryGruben.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

Traffic camera shows Everett and Marysville firefighters on the scene of a crane accident along northbound I-5 near milepost 198 Tuesday evening. (Provided photo)
Two workers fall from I-5 bridge Tuesday evening

The workers were in a “cherry picker” type bucket when it tipped over. One man fell 60 feet into the water and was taken to the hospital.

Lynnwood
Everett motorcyclist dies on Highway 99

Alexis Hernandez Cerritos was riding south on Highway 99 when a car driving north turned in front of him.

Cash is used for a purchase at Molly Moon's Ice Cream in Edmonds, Washington on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Everett’s rival minimum wage proposals: Second group submits signatures

Supporters from Raise the Wage Responsibly said their proposal strikes a balance between employees and employers.

Components of downtown Marysville’s new stormwater treatment facility can be seen from the walkway on Thursday, July 11, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. While much of the treatment and filtering happens out of sight, visitors of the area will see troughs, left, spilling water out onto the surrounding landscape, which soaks up the filtered water before it makes its way into a nearby lagoon. Overflow grates, right, help alleviate flooding during heavy rains. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
At new Marysville water treatment facility, plants filter out pollutants

City officials expect the $14 million project to clean 110 million gallons of water every year, reducing harm to wildlife.

Everett
Everett man sentenced to jail for threatening to bomb car dealership

The sentencing of Michael Harsh comes over two years after he threatened to bomb an Evergreen girls basketball game.

Everett
Everett courthouse garage briefly closed for ‘suspicious package’ report

A man drove his car into the Snohomish County Courthouse garage and reported he believed the package was in his car.