Friday, March 24, 2023

School approves baseball for 2023; Swimming will see school funding

| April 20, 2022 7:25 AM

Hungry Horse News

The Columbia Falls School Board last week voted unanimously to support a new high school baseball team.

The team, under an agreement with the school, would be privately funded through the newly-formed Columbia Falls Baseball Association.

About 20 members of the public attended the meeting to support a baseball program. The Montana High School Association approved baseball as a high school sport earlier this year. Prior to that, baseball in Montana was primarily through Babe Ruth leagues or Legion baseball.

Montana was one of the last states in the union to approve high school baseball. Wyoming and South Dakota don’t have it.

Games would be played at the Sapa-Johnsrud field, which is owned by the state, but leased by the Babe Ruth league.

The season would start next spring.

It’s expected that the team would serve at least 36 players on varsity and junior varsity and those that didn’t make the squad could play Babe Ruth leagues if they desired.

Statewide, at least 10 other schools are considering or have already started adopting high school baseball.

Some of the schools in class A include Polson, Libby, Browning and Whitefish. Whitefish voted in favor of supporting baseball last week as well.

Separately, the school board also approved school funding for the Columbia Falls swim team. Like baseball, the swim team has been a club team for several years now. It will now be taxpayer funded at a cost of just under $15,000 annually. The team will still practice with Whitefish at the Wave.

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