Middle school students in Battle Ground Public Schools will have a handful of new sports to participate in this upcoming school year, including girls volleyball and co-ed track.
The district is also expanding basketball, soccer and cross country – each of which were offered last year for the first time in Battle Ground since 1982. The multi-phased rollout of middle school sports comes as a result of the four-year replacement educational programs and operations levy that Battle Ground voters passed in November 2021.
Community surveys in recent years revealed an interest in the return of middle school sports, which had originally been done away with 40 years ago following a double-levy failure. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, district officials said the need to restore a sense of community in schools was even greater as students returned to the classroom.
“I think the student-athletes gained a whole new identity and confidence getting to be involved in middle school sports,” Lori Wilson, who coaches basketball and soccer at Pleasant Valley Middle School, said in a district press release on Monday. “I noticed an improvement in their attitudes, work ethic and overall happiness. It was pretty amazing to see what this opportunity has brought to our students and school.”
Neighboring Evergreen Public Schools provides flag and tackle football, boys’ and girls’ basketball, volleyball, cross country, wrestling and track at the middle school level. Vancouver Public Schools provides the same, with the addition of bowling for seventh and eighth grade girls.
Battle Ground students interested in girls’ basketball and co-ed cross country can register as soon as Aug. 10 by using Family ID. All that’s required is a completed sports medical physical, which is acceptable for up to 24 months. Middle school students attending the district’s alternative learning experience schools (River HomeLink and CAM Academy) can participate in sports at their neighborhood middle school if they live within the attendance boundaries.
The district is also seeking head coaches and assistant coaches for a variety of middle school sports for the 2022-23 school year. Job listings and necessary application materials can be found on the Battle Ground Public Schools job page.