The Kodiak High School soccer club is making a push to establish itself as a sanctioned sport.

Members and supporters of the club went to the Kodiak Island Borough School District school board on Nov. 4 to start the groundwork for the potential switch from a club to a varsity-level sport at KHS.

The club started with five students two years ago and has swelled to as many as 50. Last season, the self-funded club took a co-ed team of 24 players to the Kenai Peninsula for scrimmage games. It was the first time a soccer club from Kodiak had played any type of match.

Coach Eric Waltenbaugh would like to see the club have a boys and girls team this upcoming season and would like to host a preseason jamboree in April. Jamborees are mini scrimmages that do not count in the standings.

“I would like to see teams come here, as a scrimmage, to build interest and give them an opportunity to take the next step,” Waltenbaugh said.

His long-term goal is to become a sanctioned varsity sport that would compete in the Northern Lights Conference. Colony, Grace Christian, Houston, Palmer, Wasilla, Homer, Kenai, Nikiski, Seward, Skyview and Soldotna are the present schools in the conference.

The biggest hurdle would be funding.

Parent Cindy Bradley told the board the club is establishing a soccer booster club to help cover costs. She said they already have two fundraisers set up, a gift-wrapping event in November and a garage sale in December.

“The community, as a whole, would benefit from a high school soccer program, and as a booster club we would do our very best to support the school with fundraisers and positive encouragement. Ultimately, our goal is to see the soccer club become an actual team.”

The softball, baseball and football programs all started as self-funded programs and now receive at least some funding from the KIBSD. Tennis is the only self-funded sanctioned sport at the high school.

“If this interest, energy and willingness to back something isn’t there, it is all pointless,” superintendent Stewart McDonald said. “If this is real and solid then there is a possibility of exploring it.”

Contact Mirror writer Derek Clarkston at sports@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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