Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

November 7, 2013

Schools taking steps to fix athletic budget

Steve Woodhouse
Journal-Express

Knoxville — Since the most recent round of concern regarding the Knoxville Schools' Athletics Budget, coaches and Activities Director Randy WIlson have been "taking steps in the right direction."

Knoxville Schools saw a deficit between revenues and expenses in its athletics budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013. The district had issues with debt years ago, and the school board expressed concern  about returning to such a problem.

The difference between revenues and expenses was $15,906.51. Revenues were $90,168.18 and expenses were $106,074.69. The athletics budget for the year was $104,863. Included in the expenses for the year was a new wrestling mat, which increased expenses by roughly $9,000 over the prior year. Board action was taken to approve the mat purchase. 

Wilson said he has been more closely monitoring purchases made with athletics funds. He has asked coaches to approach him with major purchases before moving forward with them. Thus far, Wilson said the coaches have been very accommodating and eager to help. 

Balancing the books is one of the challenges Wilson faces. As we spoke with him, he was working on the 2014 Middle School football schedule. 

It will be during the 2014-15 school year in which Knoxville will return to the South Central Conference. Wilson has worked with schools in both the SCC and Knoxville's current conference, Little Hawkeye, to ensure that Knoxville will still be able to play rivals such as Pella and Oskaloosa. 

In most cases, according to Wilson, instead of playing SCC rivals such as Chariton once and LHC rival Pella twice, the situation will be reversed. Chariton will be played twice and Pella once. 

There's more to scheduling than just communicating with opposing schools. WIlson also works closely with Business Manager Craig Mobley when scheduling events so that they do not conflict with music, art or any other school activity. Wilson always tries to avoid making a student choose between participating in a sports game or another activity on the same night. 

Scheduling for the 2014-15 school year has the additional challenge of avoiding home sports games on the same night as an event at the Knoxville Performing Arts Center. There is insufficient parking at the high school to accommodate events at the gym and auditorium at the same time. 

As for this year, winter sports schedules have been announced. Girls' basketball opens the home play with a JV/Varsity double header vs. PCM on Friday, Nov. 22, at 6:15 p.m. The boys open their home season on Tuesday, Dec. 3, in a boy-girl double header vs. Albia at 7:30 p.m. 

There will only be three varsity home wrestling meets in Knoxville this year and one JV tourney. The first home varsity wrestling meet will be Thursday, Dec. 12, at 5:30 p.m. in a double dual with Davis County and Dallas Center-Grimes. 

All schedules can be found at http://www.littlehawkeyeconference.com/g5-bin/client.cgi?G5genie=206&school_id=2.