Holden High School parents angry over elimination of varsity soccer

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HOLDEN, Mo. -- Soccer fans everywhere have World Cup fever. However, in Holden athletes at the high school are angry over soccer because their school board voted to eliminate the sport in school.

The city of Holden sits 20 miles west of Warrensburg in Johnson County, Mo.

Holden Schools' Superintendent Wade Schroeder told FOX 4 News that for the foreseeable future, varsity soccer is over at Holden High School.

Schroeder told FOX 4 News school administrators dealt with a lack of enrollment in the soccer program in 2014, and Holden High's varsity team played some games with as few as 10 players.

Soccer parents like Theresa Ricketson disagree. She's a mother of nine kids, some of whom have played soccer at Holden High. The high school is a larger Class 2 school with fewer than 500 students. Last year's Eagle soccer club was a co-ed team, that, according to Ricketson, included as many as 18 players.

"I'd say it's important because my kids love it," Ricketson said. "I want to get behind what they're involved in and be supportive of what they enjoy and excel at."

Several club soccer teams have become popular in the Holden area, which carry sufficient players. Superintendent Schroeder said the high school team didn't have enough players to safeguard against players who were injured or academically ineligible.

"We have the numbers," Holden High Senior Michael Stehwien said. "They're there. We've proven that. We've shown them whatever number of people said that they'd play."

"They don't really have a reason to not let us do it," Blake Ricketson, Theresa's son and a Holden school district student, said. "People have fun with it. It's interacting with other people and it's fun."

The Holden School District will hold its next scheduled meeting this coming Thursday night. Schroder told me there are no plans to discuss soccer that night, but Ricketson says she and other soccer parents are planning to be in attendance.

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