Floyd wins Tuesday without support from county leaders

Carley Lytton in action in semi-final match against Clarke County.
Carley Lytton in action in semi-final match against Clarke County.

As members of the Floyd County High School Lady Buffaloes and their fans celebrated a solid semi-final win over Clarke County in Richmond Tuesday afternoon, assistant coach and athletic director Travis Cantrell was not happy with the county’s board of supervisors and government leadership — a group he says does not exhibit support for the schools or the athletic system that brings acclaim to the region.

Speaking to reporters at the post-game press conference at the Siegel Center after the Lady Buffs won 65-36 to face a rematch Wednesday against Wise Central in the 2A state basketball finals, Cantrell said the board of supervisors refused to reschedule meetings in Floyd Tuesday to allow country school superintendent Kevin Harris and others from the school board and at the school to attend the semi-final match.

“Their actions show a lack of support for our schools and our programs,” Cantrell said.  He said it “is sad” that the county’s leadership fails to support the school system or its programs.

The county board of supervisors met Tuesday morning for its regular scheduled meeting and the again in the afternoon with a joint session with the school board on budget needs.  Budget debates often rage between the school board and the supervisors, especially with budget requests that will require a tax increase to fund such requests.

Floyd County has one of the lowest tax rates in The Old Dominion. The Republican-controlled board of supervisors has delayed tax increases that have resulted in cuts and delays in hoped for programs for the school system.  The schools lost 25 teachers last year to better paying jobs and continued cuts are expected to result in more losses.

When the supervisors last year announced it would not increase taxes, it did so with what some felt was an implied consent for a potential increase this year but there is no increase on the table as the present time and the school board says it needs at least $1.3 million in new funding on a budget that is already two-thirds of county spending.

A lack of available school bus drivers, along with other budget concerns combined with the school system’s aging fleet of buses, cancelled trips this year to bring students and fans from Floyd to Richmond for the semi-final game.  That, along with scheduling of the semi-final and final matches early in the work week instead of towards the weekend, hampered plans for some who wanted to attend the game.

Dr. Harris and other members of the school board along with others are expected to be in Richmond Wednesday for the state final match that begins at 3:45 p.m. at the Siegel Center.  Among supervisors, only Locust Grover representative Lauren Yoder is expected to attend the final in Richmond Wednesday.  Yoder attends many of the high school’s sporting events.  Few other supervisors ever attend games.

The contest will be a rematch between Floyd and Wise Central, who beat the Lady Buffaloes in the region final last week at Emory & Henry.

Floyd beat Wise Central two years ago for the state championship.  Wise won the state last year.

Carley Lytton, held to just two points in the game with Central Wise last week, says she is looking forward to a rematch.

Press conference following the semi-final game: Emily Boothe (left), Travis Cantrell, Carley Lytton and Ragan Wiseman.
Press conference following the semi-final game: Emily Boothe (left), Travis Cantrell, Carley Lytton and Ragan Wiseman.
Assistant basketball coach Travis Cantrell and player Emily Boothe in post-game press conference Tuesday.
Assistant basketball coach Travis Cantrell and player Emily Boothe in post-game press conference Tuesday.
Floyd County coaches watch the action unfold in state semi-final.
Floyd County coaches watch the action unfold in state semi-final.

9 Responses to Floyd wins Tuesday without support from county leaders

  1. There are those that have an issue with Travis Cantrell’s support of athletic programs other than basketball within FCHS. It goes both ways.

  2. Perhaps the so-called adults on all sides could put aside the pettiness and support the athletes whose hard work and talent are reflected in their successes. It’s too often ignored that it’s about the kids – not the adults – whether in small town or large city.

  3. i,m curious. Why couldn’t one meeting be postponed, so those affected by the time conflict could attend the game? Was the subject, of the meeting, more important than supporting the athletes? Or was the fact of the meeting used to make a point to someone. Either way, the kids deserve better.

  4. In just curious… How many of these girls go on to receive scholarships to major universities (and actually go and finish college) or play pro. I am all about and do, support young athletes who work hard and do well in WHATEVER sport the participate in. But let’s keep it in perspective people.
    I strongly believe Floyd Co school system has way more pressing issues than the lack of support in this one arena.
    And can someone please explain to me how missing school to go to a game is considered an “excused” absence but going to an organized field trip with a career coach to a local college is not? I feel our priorities are out of whack.
    I have gotten several automated Honeywell (which I thought, was used for emergency situation) over the past few days keeping me abreast of their progress and to tell me where to go to watch the live feed. It’s a bit over the top.

    • I’m curious too Elaine. Do you know how hard it is to win a state championship in any sport in high school? Do you have any idea whatsoever? So by your logic, I guess you will throw these athletes a little token support – but if you thought they could make it to the WNBA, or the NBA, or the NFL, you would give them overwhelming support?? Ridiculous. High school athletics has a huge potential to change kids’ lives for the better – whether or not they pursue their sport beyond high school. I’ve seen it over and over. If you don’t believe that – then maybe you need to spend a little time getting to know some of these kids and learn more about their achievements. It would certainly be time better spent than complaining about a Honeywell alert that you received.

  5. Doug, I agree with your premise on the tax rate, however the board doesn’t need to drive to Richmond to support this team. Everyone has a job to do, and providing teachers, coaches, facilities and transportation while planning for the future is the Boards duty.
    We have witnessed a single supervisor scuttle a meals tax which would unify town and county under one policy, meanwhile another supervisor couldn’t get a second on motion to adjust the tax rate to keep up with inflation. Frankly most citizens pay more for phone service than personal property tax, is that the voters priority?

  6. Is that really something a coach needs to say about the group that funds the schools and they are currently asking for a increase in funding from that group. Comments like his is what causes the dissension among the leaders of our county that decides the future of our kids.

    We also had athletes participating in State indoor track and state wrestling and had some all-state performers and I don’t recall receiving Honeywell’s letting me know that they were performing or is girls basketball more important than those sports.

  7. So true! The cross country team has participated in the state tournament 9+ years straight and I NEVER heard anyone from the school system ask for support from the community. I guess if you are not participating in a revenue sport the athletes accomplishments don’t matter.