Cutchogue East fourth-grader Billy Hickox has nearly reached his goal of raising enough money and donated services to build a new wallball court at his school.
Billy updated Mattituck-Cutchogue school board members on his progress with the $8,337 project, which he spearheaded in March after the district tore down the school’s decaying wallball wall.
Wallball is usually played with a Spalding pink rubber ball, which is bounced against a wall. After hitting the wall, it bounces on the ground once; if it bounces again before being hit back, the player closest to the ball is “out.”
Billy told the board last Thursday night that North Fork Fence, Taps Welding Services and Twin Forks Landscaping have donated $3,580 worth of services, and he’s received donations of more than $2,000 from the PTA and through fundraising he’s done during high school lunch periods, at the Little League parade and at high school concerts.
“Everyone has been so generous,” he said.
Billy’s been updating the school board on his progress at every monthly meeting since March. Board member Jeff Smith asked Thursday if the district could find the remaining money Billy needs for the project in the budget, but other board members said they believe Billy will be back in June to report that he’s raised all the money he needs.
“He may do it, but just in case he doesn’t, do we have it?” said Mr. Smith.
Board members agreed to wait and see.
Mattituck parent Karen Hoeg told the board Thursday night that she’d like to see the school’s athletic department focus more energy on lacrosse, which she called “the fastest-growing sport in the United States.” She said the school’s junior high boys’ team has 47 members, but only 10 athletes are on the field at a time.
“Kids play five minutes in an entire game,” she said. “Forty-seven kids on a lacrosse team is ridiculous.”
At the high school level, she said, there are no assistant coaches for the girls lacrosse teams.
“My main concern is where the direction of the program is headed,” she said.
NO NOTICE OF DROPPED CLASS
Parent Paul Romanelli also wanted to know why the high school guidance department is not required to notify parents when students drop core classes. He said his son, a senior, recently dropped a math class, but his guidance counselor told him all he had to do was make sure the college he plans to attend knows about it.
“This is the first time in my 20 years here that this has been brought to my attention,” said Superintendent James McKenna.
Board members said they would look into changing the policy.