The Foothills Council put its fall athletic schedule in place several months ago, and within it, Johnstown High School has games listed in every sport at every level.
Johnstown interim athletic director and alumnus Mike Satterlee is among a large group of folks who want it to stay just that way.
“They were probably done by January or February,” Satterlee said of the fall sports agenda. “A lot of the winter is done except for some non-league games, but nothing for the spring yet. Sports coordinators usually meet a week or two after every season ends to figure out where do we have to go [and] what do we need to do.”
What Johnstown needs to do is generate more funds for its beleaguered sports program so all of its teams can continue to play and its young athletes can have an opportunity flourish.
“It’s important. Sports are the fabric of a community,” Satterlee said. “I heard someone say the other day it’s the front door to your community.”
Johnstown’s cost of operation for the 2019-20 academic year is $311,000 for varsity, junior varsity and modified teams, and while much progress has been made, more work still needs to be done.
“If we don’t get it, I have to figure out how much varsity would cost. How much varsity and modified would cost. How much varsity and JV would cost,” Satterlee said Tuesday as he crunched those numbers. “I’m getting all of that together. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. I hope I’m wasting my time.”
Johnstown residents approved a $37.87 million budget for the 2019-20 academic year last Tuesday — the second year in a row the budget passed on a second try after an earlier defeat — but within it came no funding for sports and extracurricular activities such as plays, music groups and clubs.
Last Wednesday, coaches and student-athletes from the athletic department held their ‘1,000 Citizens to Save Our Sports’ fundraiser and generated just under $95,000.
“A lot of outside people have stepped up. Guilderland field hockey. Shenendehowa football and field hockey. ADK,” Satterlee said. “It’s really cool.”
The Johnstown athletic department opened up a GoFundMe page Thursday in an effort gain additional funds for its programs. The link is https://www.gofundme.com/f/gmvjqd-johnstown-athletics-save-our-sports.
“Ten grand in less than a week,” Satterlee said.
More fundraising plans are in the works.
“We are meeting Wednesday and we are going to brainstorm for a couple of big things,” Satterlee said.
Section II football released its schedule in early April with Johnstown lined up to play its full slate of Class B varsity games starting Sept. 6 at Knox Field against Schuylerville.
“I’m sure there are concerns about a worst-case scenario,” Section II football coordinator Bob Dorrance said. “We have our schedule in place, and if they cannot play, we would have to scramble to fill those open dates. That’s not something we’d want to do.”
Dorrance said no specific date has been determined for Johnstown to declare if it will not be able to field any of its three football teams this fall.