Kearney gets funding for high school baseball

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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - The Kearney Public School Board unanimously votes to launch a high school baseball team following $300,000 donation from New West Sports Medicine.

In July, the board approved a motion that would begin the formation of a co-op baseball program between neighboring Kearney High and Kearney Catholic.

The board said, however, that due to budget cuts and other monetary restrictions, the program would need to be privately funded, setting a September 1 deadline to raise at least $250,000 for the first five years of operation.

With the money donated by New West Sports Medicine, the first five years are already covered. New West said it will add $10,000 a year for the next five years once that $250,000 has run out, bringing the total number to $300,000 over 10 years.

The co-op baseball team is expected to take the field in Spring 2019.

We reached out to Kearney Catholic Athletic Director Rick Petri, who said this is a very welcome addition to the Kearney Catholic schedule, but added this is by far from the first time KCHS has teamed up with Kearney High.

Until this season, the two shared a softball program and to this day, the schools are still a co-op when it comes to high school swimming. Petri says to see the baseball venture finally come to fruition is exciting for the community of Kearney, but he doesn't know how it will affect the other spring sports at both schools.

For years, many alumni from Kearney High worried that adding a baseball team may cause a negative effect for the track team, which has been a state power on the boys side for decades. Petri admitted it's far too early in the process to know what will happen with regards the other spring sports.

Keep it with Local4 Sports as we continue to learn more information.