By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Boys swimming will return this fall at Joplin High School.
Also, cross country at the middle school level (Joplin East, Joplin North and Joplin South) has been added, Jeff Starkweather, athletic director of the Joplin School District, said on Friday.
“Those jobs will be posted as soon as possible on our website (joplinschools.org), Starkweather said. “We’re looking, of course, for a head boys swimming coach and assistant.”
Blair Dance is returning as the girls swimming coach in the spring, Starkweather noted.
“I believe it’s been more than 10 years since we’ve had boys swimming,” Starkweather said.
“We had a group of interested parents,” Starkweather said of the revival. “We did surveys and had several meetings. Those turned out favorable.
“We’ve done those things before (in an attempt to resurrect the boys swimming program),” Starkweather said. “But the numbers hadn’t been this high.”
Starkweather said 57 students in upcoming grades 9-12 completed forms with contact numbers expressing an interest in boys swimming.
“Lack of numbers was the reason boys swimming was dropped,” Starkweather said. “I believe Chad Teaford was our last boys swimming coach and Paul Chambers was coach for several years.
“Boys swimming right now isn’t recognized as a conference sport (in the Ozark Conference) because not enough of the schools offer it,” Starkweather said.
“The first day of practice for the boys (with the other fall sports) will be Aug. 6 between 4 p.m. and 6 at the Missouri Southern pool,” Starkweather said. “Physical examinations and questions about insurance should be completed by that time.”