What gives with Summerville board’s Watson fixation?

Union Democrat Editorial Board /

Summerville Union High School District trustees are scheduled Wednesday to vote on an athletic department policy shift that defies common sense and needs better explanation.

It would limit the number of varsity sports overseen by 25-year Summerville PE teacher Ben Watson, who is head coach of the Bears' football, basketball and softball teams.

Talk of the policy change, spearheaded by Trustees Dave Marquez and Bret Taylor, has wasted hours over the past few board meetings. The last, on Aug. 8, also drew a concert of concerned parents and student athletes supportive of Watson.

All this talk at a time when the district is facing possibly crippling state budget cuts and is asking voters to pass an $8 million property-tax-funded bond in November to pay for facility renovations and repairs.

Marquez and Taylor claim Watson is spread too thinly.

Watson himself, though, has made no such complaints.

In fact, he has earned Mother Lode League Coach (or Co-Coach) of the Year honors in football, basketball and softball.

Under Watson's guidance, Summerville's varsity football team, which is small by division standards, has been to the postseason in three of the past four years. In 2009, the Bears won the MLL title and were victorious in a playoff game for the first time in school history.

The Bears softball team is a perennial fighter and has captured three MLL titles under Watson's tutelage.

Spread too thinly?

Marquez and Taylor seem to have other motives or insights which haven't adequately been explained.

Wednesday's meeting would be a good place to specify why this policy change is needed.

Keep the discussion brief, though, as there are far more-pressing matters that need to be addressed.

The Summerville Board of Trustees meets at 6:30 p.m. in the campus library.

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The Union Democrat
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