Medford football games see staffing issues, misconduct – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News


Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune North Medford students applaud during a recent preseason football game.

Before Black and Blue Bowl, the district did not have enough staff to deal with “certain dangerous behaviors” on the part of the students, lax parental supervision

A Medford School District official said there had been a “significant improvement” in student behavior at college football games – a positive sign ahead of the beloved North and South High Schools rivalry game from Medford on Friday October 29.

Fred Kondziela, deputy director of human resources / district athletics, gave his overall opinion to the Mail Tribune ahead of the Black and Blue Bowl at 7 p.m. at Spiegelberg Stadium.

“We have parents who support us and we have more people to work on the game. It was phenomenal,” Kondziela said. “We have to be very creative to deal with these issues, but we have managed to increase our squad from 12 to 15 people in the last two games. It is important. “

Natalie Hurd, District Communications Coordinator, thanked the community for their support.

Their comments came in response to a statement the district released late last week outlining behavioral expectations for future sporting events. The district cited seeing children in the stadium during college football matches without parents and “some dangerous behavior” on the part of young people.

These behaviors include not wearing masks or social distancing, littering, toilet vandalism and attempts to enter unauthorized areas of the stadium.

“Children are children,” Kondziela said. “If there is a situation where we think a child needs a booster, there are no staff to do it. They are on the other side of the stadium because we don’t have enough people.

Lack of staff at games is at the heart of the district’s problems with college football games.

“Staff” in this case means a team of adults involved in the smooth running of a sporting event, from securing it to selling concessions. These leaders may include teachers, but also staff from EDUStaff, a Michigan-based national school staffing agency.

According to Kondziela, it takes 35 to 40 people to properly equip a game. Lately, however, the number of people available for these positions has fallen to less than 15.

Beyond poor student behavior, the decrease brings challenges – from games not played to lack of transportation to games for athletes.

“It manifests itself; you can see it at the games… we just don’t have enough staff, ”Kondziela said. “It’s a mini picture of what we see in the valley and across the state.”

To restore staffing levels, the district offered people $ 21 / hour to work games.

Kondziela said North and South athletic directors “are working extremely hard to keep these opportunities available for children.”

“We want all of our families and kids to show up because it’s a community event,” he said. “We want it to be a fun experience for families, but we also need to manage it in a safe way. “

Kondziela called the Black and Blue Bowl fun, competitive and busy, which is why it needs to be “endowed accordingly”.

He had a message for students and parents before the event.

“Just remember to follow the expectations that have been communicated, so that everyone can have a fun and safe evening,” Kondziela said. “Go Black Tornado, go Panther!” That’s what it’s about.

For the October 29 game, the Medford School District asked parents and students to follow these guidelines:

  • Parents are responsible for supervising their children at any age, but students in middle school or below must be accompanied by an adult to enter the stadium.
  • High school students must have their ID card or be accompanied by a parent / guardian to attend games.
  • Spectators should leave items, including backpacks, bicycles or toys, at home.
  • No gatherings outside the Spiegelberg Stadium are allowed. Students who leave in the middle of the event will not be reinstated.
  • Masks are mandatory and social distancing with non-family members is “strongly advised.”

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