The show will go on

Increasing gas prices not a focus for MCHS

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Last week, Moffat County Athletics Director Jim Loughran received a call by Roaring Fork High School. They were calling to cancel a freshman football game because of increasing travel expenses.

"They said they needed to cut back on long trips," Loughran said. "But we're going to keep going forward with our plans."

With gas prices increasing, travel costs for schools will become more expensive. But Loughran's budget has little to do with the cost of gas.

"My budget deals with equipment, officials' travel expenses (for meals and coaches) and coaching," Loughran said.

So when it comes to gas costs, Jim Baptist, the district's transportation director, is the first man in charge. Because of storage tanks, the school district purchased the gas it's using now at the beginning of the school year.

"We're still using gas that we bought at the beginning of August," Baptist said. "We won't need to purchase more for at least another month. If prices are still high, then we'll have to think about it."

Robert Peters was watching his son, Mikey, and the rest of the freshman football team play Hayden on Tuesday. He said that the costs wouldn't stop him from going to any games but, "I've been doing a lot more car-pooling than I ever have."

Although Loughran doesn't predict that he will have to make any calls like the one he received from Roaring Fork, it doesn't mean he won't keep receiving them.

"Steamboat, us and Rangely are pretty isolated and it costs teams more to get here," he said. "Teams don't want to come here and it hurts us when we try to schedule sports. They'd rather play teams that are along the I-70 corridor."

Baptist said he could see schools struggling that don't have storage for gasoline.

"If someone has to buy their gas from the local pump right now, I could see that being tough," he said. "We would have a totally different situation if that was the case for us."

Loughran is the president of the Western Slope Athletic Directors and he said that rising expenses are a concern. They have been working on scheduling more games on one day to reduce travel.

"We'll have a day where Steamboat, Rifle and Palisade along with us will all play at one location for JV or freshmen," Loughran said. "It any sports are going to be affected, it will be the sub-varsity sports first. I don't see that for this year though."

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