December 4, 2023

The Vigo County School Board on Monday approved an agreement with Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, enabling the Pomeroys new sprint football team to play home games on the West Vigo High School football field.

The school board delayed action earlier this month to finalize details of a memorandum of understanding.

“We want to convey to the board our appreciation” for use of the field, said Brennan Randolph, SMWC vice president for enrollment management. “We’ve always had a really close partnership with West Vigo since we’re so close.”

The college is excited about the inaugural season. Adding the new athletic program “is definitely creating a buzz on campus and it will have an impact on enrollment,” Randolph said.

The roster currently has about 50 athletes.

Sprint football provides an opportunity for students to compete at the college level who otherwise might not have that opportunity, he said.

It differs from ordinary football in just one way — there’s a 178-pound weight limit for the athletes.

“We’re excited about what this is going to do for the community,” Randolph said. The first home game is Sept. 24. Other home games are scheduled for Oct. 1, Oct. 22 and potentially Nov. 5.

Blaine Powell, SMWC sprint football head coach, said after the board approval of the agreement, “We’re just happy to have a home … We’re another step closer. We’re excited to get the kids on campus and ready to roll.”

The memorandum of understanding includes provisions for SMWC to provide its own general liability insurance; operate and run concessions, including supplying food and workers; and provide security personnel for scheduled games.

The Pomeroys will be one of six teams in the new Midwest Sprint Football League, with two more applying to play the following season.

In other action:

• The board approved Chromebook repair fees for the 2022-23 school year as follows:

Screen hinge, $25; power adapter, $27; keyboard replacement $50; screen replacement $150; damaged port/spill, $150; lost, stolen, beyond repair, $300.

“Right now we don’t charge anything for the use of the devices” or for repairs, said Doug Miller, director of technology. This will be the third year for students to have Chromebooks.

The fees would “simply cover the repair costs of the device,” he said. “We hope by doing that we can encourage students to take better care of them (Chromebooks).”

The fees are only if someone damages or loses a Chromebook and will not be immediately implemented the first day of school. “It’s going to take us just a little bit to implement it,” and discussions will first take place with school and district staff, Miller said.

Board member Susan Powers asked if there would be a different rate for those students on free/reduced lunch who qualify for free textbooks.

Superintendent Rob Haworth said VCSC will investigate what other school districts do as far as students on free/reduced lunches “and how they make those adjustments.”

According to Miller, “Our teachers are asking for help here. They are seeing students take and pop keys off. And we give them a new one. No letter goes home or anything at this point. Now we would like to send an invoice home. At least with that, our parents will become involved. And so hopefully, we’ll get a little help there.”

Currently, if a student loses a Chromebook, an invoice is sent home, Miller said. He noted when that happens, “Half of them [missing Chromebooks] end up being found.”

He added, “I think the communication with home is really important, so this will be a mechanism to start that,” Miller said.

Some students have had multiple devices, he said.

• Board member Amy Lore requested that Davis Park Elementary custodian Richard Goodall, made famous on social media for his rendition of Journey’s song, “Don’t Stop Believin,” be invited to sing at a board meeting. Haworth plans to follow through.


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