Directors discussed whether or not they would allow the Clay Target League, Buena Vista High School Demon’s newest athletic team to letter in their sport during the school board’s meeting. 

The discussion Monday evening expanded to how the district should recognize achievement in its various club activities.

The Clay Target League is technically a club, which is allowed to use the Buena Vista High School name but is not sanctioned by the Colorado High School Athletic Association, similar to the Buena Vista mountain bike team. 

Activities in that criteria have not been eligible to receive varsity letters in the past, but the district handbook does explicitly lay out that rule.

Board president Suzette Hachmann said she called seven other districts in the clay target league and, of the three who returned her message, two do not and one does.

“I don’t see a problem here. I don’t know why we can’t give them a letter,” said Erik Phillips. “Some of the students that are on the shooting club are pursuing schools and pursuing scholarships with those schools to be on the shooting team. So, if they letter, it looks a lot better.”

Clay target coach Jake Farber is looking for “a recognition of their accomplishment,” Phillips said.

“There are other activities that go on like mountain bike or music, where if we’re talking about recognizing accomplishment, we need to talk about how we’re recognizing accomplishment in all those areas,” Hachmann said.

The board agreed that competition should be an element in deciding whether an activity should be able to letter.

“If it was a CHSAA recognized thing it would be real simple,” said Brett Mitchell. “There’s not a ton of schools that do it … Someone’s going to need to step up and show why having a letter rather than a certificate or whatever would make the difference.”

Hachmann suggested that the administration may need to develop “a more structured criteria of why we give a letter … Maybe that’s the piece. What do we give a letter for?”

“You’re asking what the letter means, because you want to make sure that there is a way for any student who participates in an activity to feel proud and inspired by their school experience,” district superintendent Lisa Yates said.


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