Juneau, Alaska (KINY) A committee will soon get to work to recommend whether the merged football team in Juneau should have a new name, colors and mascot.
Dr. Bridget Weiss, Director of Student Services and the administrator in charge of activities said the Alaska School Activities Association has determined that Juneau can operate an activity as a district versus having it directly tied to a member school.
This is a change in previous policy. When the teams merged the wrestling programs at Thunder Mountain and the tennis program at JDHS, the students were required to compete under the member school name and colors.
Dr. Weiss, in an email, said there are still many details to be decided by the school system and they will be moving forward to establish a consolidated football team as a district without a designation specifically of JDHS or TMHS.
She went on to report that a group will soon be created to help identify a mascot, colors and team name. They plan to include school administrators, students players, coaches, parents and boosters in the discussions. The district is in the process of appointing members and scheduling meetings.
The merger has been caused by rising debt and the high costs of travel to compete in sports in Alaska. Juneau and Ketchikan were the only high schools that currently have football programs. There has been talk of promoting 7 on 7 or 8 on 8 man football to encourage smaller schools to bring back football.
Dr. Weiss said the combined teams will help manage the financial debt incurred by both programs, roughly $118,000, "Each school will be required to reconcile this debt. It does not go away as a result of this merger. There will be a new account established by the consolidated team. All decisions moving forward will be made with the financial sustainability in mind."
Without the merger the school system said there might not be any high school football in Juneau.