Sumner athletics to take budget hit

If the budget proposal goes as planned, next season Bonney Lake and Sumner gymnastics teams will practice together. - Courier-Herald file photo
If the budget proposal goes as planned, next season Bonney Lake and Sumner gymnastics teams will practice together.
— image credit: Courier-Herald file photo

A meeting to discuss budget reductions for athletics and activities programs in the Sumner School District is scheduled for 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Sumner Middle School library, 1508 Willow St.

District Communications Director Ann Cook said the proposed cuts were made by a subcomittee and recommended to members of the school district’s board of directors. In April, the board adopted a resolution authorizing the superintendent to make up to $200,000 in reductions to extracurricular activities, which includes Sumner Spartan and Bonney Lake Panther athletics.

Cook said the meeting is intended to give the public a chance to hear about the reductions and ask questions.

Athletic Director Tim Thomsen said the district is considering consolidating a few individual sports to reduce costs.

“We have consolidated our separate boys and girls programs at each school, into one program at each school,” Thomsen said.

Under the district’s plan, each high school’s boys and girls cross county program would be headed by one coach; previously, each school had two head coaches, one for boys and one for girls. The same will be true for boys and girls tennis and boys and girls golf.

In gymnastics, athletes from both schools will practice together in the Bonney Lake gymnasium and will travel together, but will compete under their separate banners. Previously, each school had a head gymnastics coach and one assistant. Under the new policy, both head coaches will be retained, but only one assistant will be kept.

The water polo teams from Sumner and Bonney Lake will consolidate into one team, Thomsen said. Water polo is not sanctioned by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association and is an inter-classification sport.

The district will eliminate fifth-grade volleyball at the elementary school level.

Cook said volleyball has the lowest participation and that boys can only play it for one year, because it is a girls’ sport. Track and basketball would remain at the elementary schools.

Budget documents are available on the district’s Web site under “Around the District” and “Budget and Finance,” or at the administration office. For assistance obtaining a review copy of the proposed budget, contact Cook at 253-891-6070.

Reach Dannie Oliveaux at or 360-802-8209.

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