BHS athletic program shows progress

Bremerton school district officials hope that the development of a strong junior sports program will bridge the gap between the city’s strong elementary sports program and its ailing high school athletics program.

“We need a system, we need a plan and I hope you see this as a step,” said Superintendent Bette Hyde. “We need results.”

The district hosted a meeting with parents and community members Tuesday night at the district’s administration offices to discuss changes in the athletic department.

In order to improve continuity through the district’s athletic programs, Bremerton high school athletic director Larry Gallagher has been made responsible for all programs within the district, Hyde said.

“I don’t disagree that we have a lot of good Pee Wee programs,” Gallagher said. “The step missing is at the junior high level.”

Currently, the athletic department is contacting other school districts to find competition for its junior sports programs, Gallagher said.

In addition to developing a junior high sports program, the athletic department is working on a new policy to hold coaches accountable for not only their players but wins and losses as well, he said.

“Once we get it finalized and get it out to people, I think it will be a significant change,” Gallagher said.

While coaching is important, Bremerton girls basketball coach Daniel MacInnis warned against constantly changing coaches.

“When you have inconsistency you can’t build a program,” MacInnis said. “You have to give somebody a chance to build a program.”

Building a program isn’t a one or two year project and parents need to understand that change won’t happen overnight, MacInnis said.

However, MacInnis said a coach can make a big difference in a program.

Bremerton’s football program, which endured an 0-10 season, will be under new leadership in the fall, Gallagher said.

“Our goal is to get a head football coach to get our program where it belongs,” he said. “These kids deserve to win.”

One of the main responsibilities of the new coach will be community involvement, especially with the Pee Wee and junior high programs, in order to keep Bremerton’s best athletes at Bremerton High instead of watching them transfer to other districts like Central Kitsap, he said.

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