Black pants OK at Wolf Creek

WATERFORD – Kelly green and white are still the only official school colors, but Wolf Creek Local officials agreed Monday to allow a little leeway when it comes to black pants on sports uniforms.

No formal vote was taken, but a majority of board members told Superintendent Bob Caldwell during the board’s regular meeting in the Waterford High School library they could accept black pants for outdoor sports whose participants often wind up with grass and dirt stains.

“Would you go out and do your work in white pants?” board President Hugh Arnold said.

Four years ago, in response to a growing number of black attire and accessories related to school sports, black accents on uniforms and a national trend of more black in sports jerseys, Caldwell issued a memo emphasizing the importance of tradition and reiterating that the primary colors in new uniforms were to be kelly green and white.

In April 2012, members of the high school band boosters approached the board about purchasing black pants for the band’s new uniforms. Black pants without stripes reveal fewer alignment mistakes and could lead to improved scores at competitions, they said. As a compromise, two sets of pants were purchased – green for marching at games and black for competitions, Caldwell said Monday.

The issue came up again recently when a member of the baseball booster organization contacted Caldwell about purchasing black pants for the Waterford High School team’s uniforms, noting they would be easier to clean of dirt and grass stains than white ones.

“It was purely for sanitation,” Caldwell said.

The superintendent then asked the board whether they wanted him to continue with the firm prohibition against black he’s emphasized in recent years.

“I think your outside sports … should be allowed to go with a little bit darker color,” board member Tom Kearns said.

“I think it stays green and white,” board Vice President Neil Huck said.

One board member asked whether green pants would be an option over black, but Waterford Elementary Principal Doug Baldwin, the high school softball coach, said in some cases that can be significantly more expensive.

Board member Jeff Campbell agreed it made sense for outdoor sports to use black pants, but not others, like basketball.

“An indoor, clean sport, I don’t think we need it,” he said.

In other business, the board approved amended revenue and appropriations to be submitted to the county auditor’s office for the current fiscal year, which ends Sunday.

Treasurer Rachel Miller said the district received more than $338,000 more in revenue than she’d projected this time last year, thanks in part to increases in personal property tax revenue. In addition, the district spent nearly $546,000 less than originally appropriated, which Miller attributed in part to conservatively estimating for possible retirement and insurance expenses.

“If a treasurer does their job the way they’re supposed to, that’s what happens,” Caldwell said.