I have lived in Frewsburg nearly 40 years. My children were raised and attended school here and I now have grandchildren attending our schools. Through the years I have found our community an extraordinary place to raise a family and have been pleased with the educational and extracurricular opportunities my kids have received.
It was decided earlier this year to merge the high school basketball program with Falconer. Between the two schools, 45 boys signed up to play. Twenty boys had to be cut. There were clearly enough boys at each school for them to be able to have their own teams. It was a shame to see kids who wanted to participate not get the opportunity because of the merger - especially because it was not necessary.
Now there is talk of merging the football programs. The Frewsburg players were told that the numbers at Falconer were very small and that they could not field a team without merging with Frewsburg. Suddenly, the numbers have grown with 25 signed up at Falconer and over 55 at Frewsburg. Clearly, there are enough boys for each school to field a team - and there should NOT be over 80 kids on the Frewsburg roster. Kids from our school district would be cut or may leave the team because they would not get playing time. My point is that we do not pay taxes for Falconer kids to play football in our school system. Moreover, Falconer homeowners and businesses pay no taxes in our school district. We are footing the bill for their kids to play at the expense of our own kids. That's not right!
I want to give the Frewsburg coaches, teachers and parents all of the credit in the world. Through the years I have watched them work together (with 60-75 students per graduating class) to build a great school district with excellent sporting and extracurricular programs for our kids. They put extraordinary energy and effort into our kids and for that I am grateful. It is a true sign of our community pride! I hope that your readers would agree that our kids should not be cut from a sporting team or have their opportunity to play reduced because we chose to merge with another school (in this case Falconer, which has much larger graduating classes). Instead, the Falconer parents should find out why their kids do not want to play within their school district and address their issues. They should not duck their issues by sending their kids to Frewsburg. When the Falconer students found out they would be playing with Frewsburg their participant numbers suddenly shot up. That is a sign to me that there is a problem in Falconer that our kids are now paying for.
There are cases where merging programs may be necessary - for example financial hardship or bankruptcy. Other than that, if Falconer parents would like to pay for the tuition for their kids to come to our school I would welcome them to participate in our sports programs. This is not about coaches egos or winning more games. It is about the kids in Frewsburg who will ultimately lose if these football programs merge.
David Brink is a Frewsburg resident.