Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

MLWR discusses having only one athletic director


There was discussion about having one athletic director instead of two at the meeting of the Moose Lake-Willow River Athletic Liaison on Wednesday, June 19.

Moose Lake Athletic Director Tony Andres has resigned, and the question of replacing him was brought up. Dave Louzak is the athletic director at the Willow River School.

“We are looking at one AD for both buildings,” said Moose Lake Superintendent Robert Indihar. “Is that what we want to do or is it better to have two? It is worthy of discussion.”

Louzak pointed out that one AD would have to spend time in both schools.

“There would be no teaching,” he added. “You would have to hire another teacher. One AD would have to spend half of the time in each school to keep in contact with the kids and coaches of both schools.”

But Willow River Superintendent Bill Peel said the idea of Louzak being the AD for both schools was not possible.

“I can’t afford to give up Dave Louzak,” he said. “He teaches and there is no one in the wings.”

Andres said if there were one AD, that person would need to have access to the databases in both schools; and applicants wouldn’t want night duties unless he or she was paid extra.

“I think how we do it is archaic,” he said. “This is the way that it used to be 35 years ago. We split the job 35 years ago.”

Andes suggested site supervisors for the evening games.

“You’d be surprised who would want to do it,” he said. “I can get someone to be the site supervisor. I know that I can hire a girls basketball person for next year.”

Indihar concluded the discussion by saying that it will be discussed again in the future.

“Tony has set us up until spring,” he said. “I’m confident that we’ll come up with some arrangements.”

Spencer Clough, the baseball coach, reported that this was his first year.

“The coaching staff was very professional at all times,” he said.

He had recommendations for the liaison committee. The dugouts on the old baseball field were too small, was one issue.

“The dugouts at the old field are 25 feet,” he said. “Most of the players sit outside of the dugouts because they are too small for everyone.

“The dugouts at the new field are 19.5 feet, almost 6 feet shorter. They are slightly deeper but there are no benches in them. There is plenty of room to expand them towards home plate. They should be 54.5 feet. And the fence should be capped. It is a health concern. If the kids ran into it, they could be injured.

“We also need a storage shed and an outdoor batting cage. A bullpen needs to be built on the right or left field foul line.

“The warning track is 10 feet. That’s not adequate. The player should go two or three strides on the track, which is 18 to 20 feet.”

The new baseball field is part of the athletic complex at the Moose Lake school. It was not used this season to allow a year for the grass to become established.

Indihar said that the contractor built the field to the standard size. He said that he would meet with Clough during the summer to discuss what is needed.

Locker room space was another need.

“Neither of us has enough locker room space to house a football team,” Indihar said. “We were hoping that the bond issue would pass. A locker room was included in that. It is not possible for either of us to add a building for a locker room. That’s a big-ticket item. The ADs and superintendents will hash it out and see what we can do. The liaison can take it from there.”

The football team has been practicing on the outfield of the baseball field at the old school while the grass is established at the new practice field inside the new track at the Moose Lake school.

“This is year two of a five-year contract to use the field,” said Louzak. “Having someone else own that facility makes it hard to keep track of 80 kids. They have blocked off part of the school for the football team but there were times when the kids were in the other part of the school.”

“The sooner that we can get out of there, the better,” said Indihar. “It’s going to cost a lot of money. One of us needs to pass a bond to do something.”

“We need to work together,” said Louzak. “It’s the Moose Lake-Willow River program. It affects athletes and administration from two schools but it is Moose Lake-Willow River sports. Financially, we need to work together better.”

Indihar replied that the discussions were going to take a while. He recommended that the liaison appoint a sub-committee to come up with recommended solutions.

Recommendations from the athletic directors were to renew the contracts for Clough for baseball and Kelly Goeb for softball. Noah Jurek was hired as the track coach. Brad Hubred has resigned as the golf coach. The position is open.

The recommendations will be brought to both school boards for approval.

A liaison meeting of the full boards from both schools was set for Monday, July 22, at 4:30 p.m. at the Moose Lake school.


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