Midland ISD approves new sports program for all girls school

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Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 6:52 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) -Students at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy will be able to participate in sports at their own school come next year.

The Midland ISD Board of Trustees voted in favor of starting a sports program for the girls only school.

The YWLA was able to introduce grades 8 through 11 this year for the first time.

Next year, that sports program will introduce sports like cross country, swimming, and tennis. And they eventually want to add basketball and volleyball.

“I would like to point out that the district is striving, to support this change and is a part of the process of building out these programs. It will start small and take work. But the outcome will be better for all students.” said Katie Joyner, MISD Board Member, District 4.

The YWLA decided to go through with this to build new opportunities for students and to enhance school spirit overall.

They currently have 121 high school students enrolled.

The UIL will work with that number because YWLA only goes up to the 11th grade.

Which is why the UIL calculates the population to determine which division they’ll play in.

“And then they’ll also multiply that number by two, because it’s a single gender school. If you have that, you’ll have over 300 students, which would in all probability put them in a 3A classification.” said Blake Feldt, Executive Director of Athletics for Midland ISD.

Students at YWLA that want to participate in sports have to play at other school in their attendance zone. Like Midland and Legacy High school.

Parents and students at YWLA voiced concerns about the addition of an athletic program, but Feldt said the positives outweigh the negatives in this situation.

“And this whole issue with having to add YWLA athletics to their campus really doesn’t have any negatives to do with competing with the schools in their attendance zone. It’s all about the positives that can happen at YWLA and that will happen at YWLA.” said Feldt.

Feldt said the process to begin this athletics program, has already begun.

They expect to go through realignment by UIL before the start of next years school semester.

YWLA is one of Midland ISD’s top performing campuses and with the addition of this sports program, the school district believes it will only improve.