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Long-Standing Tradition of High School Athletic Banquets to Live On

Teams may hold individual banquets while the school district also will have a large-scale ceremony at the end of each athletic season

The longstanding tradition of high school athletic banquets will live on after the district compromised with its student-athletes.

At the end of each athletic season, Lacey Township High School teams get together at separate banquets to celebrate individual and team accomplishments and their Lacey pride. in force against a proposed idea to have a combined banquet at the end of each season rather than individual celebrations for each team.

“There’s a warm and fuzzy feeling about banquets and that’s what the students didn’t want to give up,” Athletic Director Karen Hughes said.

Following the September school board meeting, the administration met with student-athletes. Hughes said she was impressed by how the students handled the issue saying a “happy medium” was reached.

Upon the new school year, Hughes proposed the change.

“I wanted to make it a little more student centered,” she said in September.

By combining the banquets into one celebration at a larger venue, the students accomplishments would be recognized among other student athletes, generating more cohesion, she previously said.

The school district follows a process when developing new ideas, high school Principal James Handschuch said. The parents who came out to the school board meeting acted before administration had the opportunity to talk to the students.

After speaking with the students, the district decided each sport can continue to hold its individual banquet at the end of the athletic season and coaches may attend. Freshmen, Junior Varsity and Varsity teams may attend those banquets.

“It was a no-brainer,” Hughes said of the district listening to the student’s wishes. “They’re our people.”

The district will also be holding a large-scale ceremony in the high school auditorium at the end of each season to recognize the teams and varsity student-athletes as a whole, Hughes said.

“This is a great opportunity for kids to have traditional and seasonal (celebrations),” Handschuch said. “It’s a great venue for all the sports to be recognized.”

The individual banquets will recognize team awards, letter winners and whatever each team individually celebrates, she said, while the combined ceremony will honor MVPs, academic award winners, the Golden Paw, letter winners (as a group for each year) and team successes.

“It’s about bragging a little bit too,” Hughes said.

The event will also feature refreshments donated by the Parent Teacher Student Association and Boosters. The marching band is also on board to perform.

Hughes’ hope is that the superintendent, a school board member and Handschuch will address the athletes during the ceremony.

The event will be videotaped and a professional photo will be taken of all the senior varsity athletes together, which has never been done before, Hughes said. The photo will be provided free of charge to the athletes.

Hughes described the large-scale ceremony as “something special.”

“We’re really looking forward to it,” Handschuch said.

WhyohWhy October 23, 2012 at 01:17 PM
"By combining the banquets into one celebration at a larger venue, the students accomplishments would be recognized among other student athletes, generating more cohesion," she previously said. "She" being Karen Hughs. I could just see 600 students and parents other coaches, wanting to sit thru ALL the teams getting individual awards and such. More Cohesion is met at the PEP Rallies... thats when ALL the teams come together and see who is on what team and the kids love that. I say IF its NOT broke, then DON'T fix it !
BethAnn October 23, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Just to be clear. Administration did not set up a meeting with the student athletes until they heard that parents were going to the school board. That's why the parents went to the school board meeting.
tr October 24, 2012 at 01:31 AM
This is a perfect example of public imput at a BOE meeting creating positive change! That is why, those of us that attend these meetings keep telling everyone to go and not be AFRAID speak out about what is on there minds. The Lacey BOE members and the Lacey Township Committee does listen and in a public setting is then FORCED to respond or take action.
Pop Pop October 28, 2012 at 12:38 AM
So proud of the parents who spoke up on behalf of their kids at the BOE meeting. The parents were told by Ms. Hughes at the booster meeting that there would be no traditional banquets, only her Awards night. By the parents attending the BOE meeting in full force, the board and public were made aware of a decision being made without input. It helps to speak up in Lacey!

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