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Devils Lake schools cut four sports

The Devils Lake school board voted Monday to cut four high school athletic programs, after months of debate.

The four activities the board chose to cut are girls soccer, boys and girls golf and cheerleading.

Officials said three of the programs were struggling, but one of them was well-supported.

“When you take something away from students it’s really hard,” said School Board President Steve Halldorson about the cuts.

“As tough as the decision was to make, I think the board came up with the right way to go I guess,” he said.

But some disagree with the decision.

Student board member and senior soccer player Mylasha Artis said the choices were “surprising to me a little bit because I didn’t think the votes were going to sway the way they did.”

She said she felt bad for her soccer teammates.

“To know that my younger teammates, peers aren’t going to be able to enjoy the sport that I love as much as I do, is really hard for me.”

Halldorson said shrinking enrollment made it harder to sustain sports teams.

“The student body is down 200 students, so that kind of plays into it too,” he said.

But that was not the whole reason for the cuts. The four programs didn’t necessarily suffer from a lack of participation. Boys golf was eliminated along with girls golf so that Devils Lake would stay compliant with Title IX, which requires the same number of activities for boys and girls.

Artis said she hopes athletes will show the school in the future that the sports are worth bringing back.

“Down the road in a couple years, even if it’s not them, maybe the girls younger than them (will help) to bring back girls soccer.

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