If anyone had any doubts about the interest in starting a soccer program at Belmond-Klemme, those doubts were laid to rest at the Dec. 19 school board meeting. More than two dozen students showed up to stand at the meeting while the possibility of a new sport was discussed.
That number of potential Bronco soccer athletes paled in comparison to the 36 boys and 33 girls who signed a petition saying they want to play soccer for B-K.
For the past several years, B-K students have played as Cadets in a joint CAL/Hampton- Dumont team. Last year, eight students participated in the program. In fact, two B-K athletes – Vanessa Naranjo and Eduin Gonzales – set new state and conference records while playing for the CAL/HD team. B-K paid $7,718 toward the coaching, officials and supplies incurred for the joint program.
Superintendent Dan Frazier estimates that having a B-K soccer program would cost $15,000 for coaches, officials and supplies and $5,800 for transportation. Teams would practice on the football practice field east of the baseball/softball complex, and play home games on the football field.
Two B-K students, Naranjo and Jacob Hansen, who played for the joint team last year, spoke in favor of B-K starting its own team. Two of Naranjo’s sisters also spoke to the board during the public comment portion of the Dec. 19 meeting. Samantha Naranjo said, “Soccer will bring in more community involvement” and connect all the B-K students. Steph Naranjo, who graduated in 2018, said she liked playing for the joint team, “but I really wanted to be a Bronco” on the soccer field.
“To have another sport isn’t going to hurt anything,” boardmember Jim Swenson said. The board will vote on the matter at the Jan. 16 meeting.