School Board Bans Dual-Sport Athletes

Andy Berg Headshot

A Wisconsin school district is divided over passage of a new rule by the school board that states student-athletes are only permitted to participate in one WIAA-sanctioned sport per season. 

At a July 29 meeting, the Wisconsin Dells School Board resolved the hotly-debated issue, after three members stood staunchly in favor of allowing kids to play two sports per season.

Board member Jim McClyman, who is in favor of two-sport athletes, said he checked with a number of other schools in the South Central Conference and all of them allowed student-athletes to participate in more than one sport per season.

“I feel that students should be granted every opportunity to participate in sports, academics, clubs, anything they would like to do,” McClyman told “In varsity sports, the goal is to put the best athletes out there, for the success of the team, and the individual.”

Board member John Campbell was pragmatic about the issue.

“If you’re a better kicker, don’t you want to put the best kicker you’ve got in the school kicking the football?” Campbell said.

McClyman said that athletic director Aaron Mack had specifically approached one WDHS soccer player to kick for the football team. Mack, however, informed the player that he may not be able to do so next year because the policy was being debated before the school board.

The board discussed grandfathering some students but that didn’t alleviate the disagreements on the issue.

“I don’t really like it,” WDHS student Lawson Machovec said. “We’re the kids who know how to get our grades up, know how to work hard and continue to do good at both sports and in school.”

Board member Jesse Weaver argued in favor of the proposal, saying teams need to foster chemistry.

“We did the right thing,” Weaver said. “This is about the liability of the Wisconsin Dells, this has nothing to do with Wautoma. Some of these smaller districts along the river, they don’t have the numbers, student body-wise, to compete. We’ve got the numbers here. And when we expect our varsity players to be at practice five nights a week, it’s not right to make an exception.”

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