Two years ago Lockwood decided to change the districts they play sports against in an effort to play with schools that are more the same size in student population as Lockwood. In stead of playing against School District 2 schools, we now play area schools that would be our competitors if Lockwood had a high school. I think it is good because we are playing schools our size. It also makes us more competitive for how many kids Lockwood has. When I played 6th grade sports we only played the Billings schools, and we never rode the bus. Our parents had to take us to the games. Now we travel out of Billings and pllay Hardin, Huntley, Shepherd and other schools. We now do jamborees every other weekend instead of regular games during the week for our basketball program. I personally like doing jamborees every weekend because it gives us an opportunity to watch other teams and see how they play.
Mr. Swanke, our Athletic Director, likes the change because it is easier to schedule games and tournaments. Why does the change benefit Lockwood sports? "It gives the kids more pride and gives the kids something to play for." Why did we change districts? "It is better fit size for our school." The coaches get paid but the amount depends on how much experience they have. We get our refs by the Billings pool which is a reffing system, and each ref gets paid $36 dollars per game. Now that we have the new change, kids get more play time in every sport. This benefits the students because it gives them more pride and gives them something to do. Lockwood does not have any plans to bring any sports we have not had yet.
Mr. Klasna, our principle at EJMS middle school says he likes the idea of changing districts.
"We changed districts because it is better fit size for our school." The decision to change was made by Mr. Novasio, Mr. Swanke, Mr. Klasna, and Mr.Kinsey. The change benefited the students by giving them more pride and made us more competitive. Now that we have changed kids get more play time then what they usually had. Parents like having tournaments every weekend instead of games during the week because they get to watch more basketbal,l and the kids get to scout the other teams. The fee to participate in sports will go up in the future. Mr. Klasna says, "Sports are important to kids. It gets them involved, and the kids make new friends."
I also talked to Mr. Zilkoski, the 8th grade boys basketball coach. He said, "I hope the change makes us more competitive. It affects the coaching part of it by making it a little more convenient. It benefits the coaching part of it because there are less teams to prepare for and it is easier to scout because we will see our competition at our first tournament." If kids want to play high school sports Mr. Zilkoski says, "I hope kids understand how difficult it can be to play basketball for one of our high schools in Billings. I want every kid to be able to play after Middle School, but I’m trying to teach them that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication." Some of our coaches that have been coaching at Lockwood for a few years have seen some benefits. "Coaching basketball has definitely changed over the years. Younger kids have really shown me the importance of teaching the fundamentals," Jerry says. "I hope Lockwood will become more competitive every year."
The change has really made an impact on Lockwood sports. We are starting to be more competitive in basketball and volleyball, and we are winning more games. It gives the kids more pride and gives them something to play for. And the change is really good for us because we are a really big school and know that we are playing schools our size makes us more competitive. I hope we become better as a school and a community.