Kingsley School Board to Draft Letter to Benzie Central About Soccer Game

A call for better sportsmanship for high school athletes after a soccer game between Kingsley and Benzie Central left some players discouraged.

Kingsley Soccer Pkg 7 101300 01 39 26still001On September 29, Benzie Central beat the Kingsley boys varsity soccer team 17-0.

That game has left parents questioning if it was done intentionally—and now the Kinglsey School Board is writing a letter to Benzie Central’s board to have their voices heard.

“We had parents come and speak at our open comments expressing some concerns of the game,” said Kingsley Area School Board President Beth Lajko. “We as a board felt that a letter to their school board was the direction that we were going to take.”

“The letter is not a shake your finger at Benzie Schools, that’s not our responsibility,” said Lajko. “Our letter is a letter that’s going to include what we can do to work together to do what’s best for children in our own district and across other districts.”

Some of the comments from parents point the finger at Benzie Central’s Kevin Hubbell—who scored a national record 16 goals at the game.

“He was just having a really good night, but he’s had a lot of really good nights, too,” said Benzie Central Schools Superintendent Amiee Erfourth. “That team feeling like that was intentional was not the case.”

Erfourth says they’ve had some blowouts from Kingsley, too.

“Early this season my volleyball team lost 25-3 to Kingsley,” she said.

Kingsley, though, says it’s not the same.

“I don’t recall ever hearing of a game where Kingsley beat some other school in the score of 119 to zero, which would equate to the same 17 to zero in soccer,” said Lajko.

Erfourth says neighboring athletic conferences address sportsmanship.

“I was in touch with Ski Valley’s athletic council, and I heard that they do a student athlete symposium, where they’re learning about how to be good sports,” said Erfourth. “I think that’s a great opportunity for our Northwest Conference to try and explore.”

Erfourth says their Athletic Director and the coach reached out to Kingsley Area Schools and apologized.

“I would never want any kid to leave the field feeling like they weren’t valued for trying their hardest and for sticking it out,” said Erfourth.

Both school districts have the same goal in mind, though, and that’s to move forward.

“It’s time to move on for both of us to work together for us to continue that relationship, and strengthen each of our communities,” said Lajko.

“We as an athletic council and a Northwest Conference can actually take this as a learning opportunity and how do we problem solve with all these great minds at the table to support all of our students,” said Erfourth.