BANKS, Ore. -- An ominous cloud over Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks Monday had very little to do with the weather, and everything to do with the future of Golf in the Tigard-Tualatin school district.
“It would be a shame if they removed it from the school,” said Tualatin head coach John Gailey. “Golf doesn’t even cost that much. It just seems like they’re cutting it, so they can say they cut something.”
If a district budget meeting goes according to plan next month, water polo, tennis and golf will no longer receive subsidies from the district. Those programs would be relegated to playing on the “club” level, which means they’d no longer be eligible to participate in any OSAA-sanctioned events.
“Hopefully,” said OSAA Executive Director Tom Welter, “they can come up with the money from parents or fund raising, or even a major benefactor.”
Otherwise this would be Tualatin’s last trip around the OSAA links. A sad ending for a championship-caliber program.
“We’re one of a few Tualatin teams to win a state championship, and to be consistently ranked in the state, so it’s a bummer that we’re getting pushed to the side a little bit,” said junior golfer Ray Richards of the three state titles Tualatin has won since 1998.
But Richards and his teammates won’t just be pushed to the side a little bit. They will be pushed out entirely unless they can find a way to be as successful and creative with private financing as a handful of other OSAA member schools have been.
“Some of our smaller schools have zero funding for their entire athletic department,” said Welter.
Now some of the larger schools in the Tigard-Tualatin district are about to feel the same pinch. That explained the cloud over Quail Valley Monday.