Sports

"Celebs golf, lament local school sports budget cuts"

"Asked about school budget cuts at in South Kitsap School District, ESPN's Kenny Mayne didn't fumble for an answer.An anchor for Sportscenter, the Kent native said he's seen it happen before in Connecticut - where ESPN is located.Mayne was one of dozens of celebrities who played in the recent Detlef Schrempf Celebrity Golf Classic at McCormick Woods in Port Orchard. I've seen it in some areas where the funding is such that they can't afford (sports), Mayne said of the budget cuts. It's really sad. That's what keeps a lot of people closer to schools.Mayne said if there's not enough money for sports in the area, hopefully independent groups would see athletics as worthy of support.You vote for your own household and some people, their kids, are already out of school, and they're like, 'Well I don't care so much,' Mayne said. Hopefully, people look at more for the whole community.Ray Roberts, a former Seattle Seahawks guard who now plays for the Detroit Lions, said cutting sports from elementary school isn't such a bad thing.I can see the elementary thing, because when I played football at 5 and 6 it wasn't really football, Roberts said. You just kind of run around and listen to these parents yelling at you trying to be the coach.But Roberts said he doesn't think cutting junior high sports is a wise decision.In junior high, that's when you start to develop as an athlete, he said. Some kids become pretty good. I don't know all the pros and cons (to the cuts), but it seems like something I wouldn't do.Lawyer Milloy, an all-pro safety for the New England Patriots and aluni of Tacoma's Lincoln High School who played against South Kitsap in the early 1990s, experienced first-hand what cuts at the junior high level did for him and the community when he was growing up.It happened when I was in junior high and it affected the level of play at the high school, and I think that's why schools like South Kitsap were better than us, Milloy said. They had that continuous competitiveness and we had a gap.Milloy said he obviously survived the system of cuts, but he said it hurt other people who depended on sports to keep them busy.Any time you have a dropoff, that's where crime rates go up, he said. You take options away from kids, you give them negative options. You gotta' burn energy somewhere.At the same time, Milloy said he also relates to the homeowners who don't want to pay more in property taxes.Being a homeowner, I, myself, can definitely relate to them, Milloy said. But I think that the kids are more important. I have a little daughter and she definitely comes first.Milloy said he also knows he's in a different bracket than most homeowners because he can afford tax hikes.I know that I can afford a little bit higher taxes, so I can understand them, he said. But I think the kids need to be more important. The economy is going to keep going up. That's just the history of it."

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