Lick Creek revives baseball, softball
Lick Creek Community Consolidated School District No. 16 hasn’t had a junior high baseball and softball program since 2011.
Now in 2016, the program has picked back up and it’s been a huge boost for the school district.
Coach Ron Fulenwider said the year before the last year of the athletic programs, the baseball team won its conference. Then the next year, there weren’t enough players to field a team.
Fast-forward to 2015, which was superintendent Brent Boren’s first year at Lick Creek.
In an attempt to learn more about his district, he created a poll for his students. The poll showed strong support for athletic programs at the school.
“We received enough response (about the programs) to seriously look for coaches,” Boren said.
Lick Creek is unique because the school has a junior varsity and a varsity team for both baseball and softball.
Students in 4th through 8th grade can play on the team, but for safety reasons, 4th grade is only allowed on the junior varsity team.
“The community has been a big supporter for reopening the programs,” Boren noted
The school also has added cross country to its athletic program.
Softball coach Michele Rushing said this year has been a learning experience for the girls.
There are a total of 15 girls on the team, with one 8th grader and two 7th graders. The rest are 6th grade and below. This gives the district hope that the program will remain and continue to grow stronger.
“The school’s been very supportive. They’ve gotten us all of our equipment and uniforms. We have wanted it for a long time and we have a lot of community support,” Rushing said.
Noah Prater, Lick Creek’s baseball coach, said a lot of the older kids on the team have never played before, so the team is learning a lot.
“It’s great for them to get the experience. Even if the record doesn’t show, the progress made for them has been worth it,” Prater said.
The baseball team has two 8th grade players.
Boren said the current field was nothing but grass, but thanks to the labor of volunteers, the district now has one baseball/softball field behind the school.