In her third year as Craig Middle School athletic director, Jill Hafey said she is ready for aesthetic upgrades to the uniforms of several sports teams.
On Feb. 28, Hafey spoke with the Moffat County School Board on the deteriorating state of uniforms for the school’s football, girls basketball, and track teams.
Hafey reported the football jerseys are 10 years old, girls basketball jerseys to be more than 10 years old, and track uniforms to be more than 15 years old.
While the CMS athletic program has made thousands of dollars in cuts to the program, Hafey said certain areas couldn’t be compromised.
“For workers, we have to maintain officials, which are paid $44 for every football game, and we must have two per game,” she said. “We have cut the cost for our in-house workers, but some areas we can’t make cuts.”
CMS purchased new cotton uniforms for the seventh grade volleyball team in the fall due to the number of girls who went out for the team.
The school also bought a new volleyball net system for the gym, splitting the cost of the roughly $3,000 system with the City of Craig, which uses the nets for city leagues.
“Our athletic program is almost self sufficient at this point as to not put any extra burden on the community that is also suffering,” Hafey said. “We doubled the fees for the students to play and we are charging the reduced or free students $15 to play now.”
Hafey, who is also the school’s assistant principal, said the program has cut equipment and reduced the operation of events down to the minimum.
“We have got to the point where we can’t just mend or patch the uniforms anymore,” she said. “There have been cuts in every pocket there is, and uniforms are our top priority right now.”
For the football and track programs, Hafey said the school would need around 80 to 90 new jerseys, and 60 new jerseys for the girls basketball teams.
Hafey estimated football jerseys would cost between $35 and $50 each for mid- to top-grade quality, and basketball jerseys and track uniforms would cost about $30 each.
“I would like to get top grade because then 10 years from now we can look into getting new uniforms instead of three to five years,” she said. “Some of the equipment needs help, like the wrestling mats, so we need jerseys that will last many years.”
To get the extra money for new uniforms, Hafey is hoping to push two ideas when the time for fundraising comes back around next year.
The first would be sports camps for CMS athletes to be held in Craig.
“By having camps, we would help build our programs as well as make money to go back to the programs,” she said. “I also think it would benefit the community because we would be helping their kids improve in their sport without the traveling they currently do for camps.”
Hafey said she has already approached the basketball and volleyball coaches at CMS to help her take the next step in organizing camps.
The second idea is to get sponsorships on scoreboards and uniforms.
Hafey said a rotating sponsor scoreboard would be paid off in three years and the cost benefits would start to accumulate.
“I like the idea of sponsoring because it helps us and advertises for local businesses,” she said. “We will start looking into it during the summer after all the seasons are over and we want to see what is the most beneficial for our program.”
Hafey said she got the idea of sponsorship after looking at Moffat County High School’s sponsored scoreboards and the school’s deal with Nike.
The school will price compare, Hafey said, to get the best deal for the price. The athletic program is worth the cost, she said.
“Athletics are a huge benefit for the kids,” she said. “They put in a lot of hard work during practice and they deserve to have quality uniforms when representing Craig and CMS.”
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