Eli Ruiz | Democrat
Athletic director Doug Murphy said there is plenty of student interest to keep the ball moving for the Monticello High School football program.
Monticello football moves on
Story by Eli Ruiz
MONTICELLO November 22, 2013 Monticello High School athletic director Doug Murphy said there will be varsity football next year at Monticello and that the search for a new coach will start in the January-February time frame when the position is officially posted.
The program lost its head coach recently when Matt Buddenhagen resigned. Upon leaving, Buddenhagen said: “We have regressed as a program. We don’t have a jayvee, we don’t have coaches, this year we had 18 players on the [varsity] team. It’s the constant struggle.
I’m passionate about this game, it’s a big part of my life. Here you are, busting it 24/7, and just struggling to get by. We don’t have any resources, we don’t have any programs.”
Murphy refuted some of Buddenhagen’s comments. He said there was a JV program this past year, though it was privately funded by three generous donors and coached by a volunteer. Murphy said the varsity team had 23 players, not 18.
“It wasn’t ideal,” said Murphy of the jayvee program that was taken out of the 2013-14 budget. “But they played a full schedule and had coaching.
“I’m not sure why he [Buddenhagen] would say that.”
Murphy admitted that the financial environment with the tax cap and squeezed budgets is making it difficult to run a complete program with modified, jayvee and varsity teams. Over the past several years, the jayvee team has not been part of the budget and Murphy has had to reach out to private donors to keep games on the schedule.
“It’s tough to add that piece [jayvee] when 38 teachers are getting laid off,” said Murphy. “I get that. But you do need a jayvee program to develop and build your varsity team.”
This year, thanks to $1,000 donations by John Moul, Tom McCreery and Scott Dorn, the jayvee team played a full schedule. Murphy said there were 38 kids who initially signed up and 31 finished the season. He said he is already planning for additional private funding of the jayvee program in case it’s not approved in the 2014-2015 budget.
He also added there are plenty of kids going out for modified.
“We don’t have a numbers problem. We absolutely have enough to keep football going in Monticello,” said Murphy.