Above: The Lakewood Middle School varsity boys basketball team huddles during a game in December. Below: LMS varsity girls soccer players celebrate a goal during a game in December.
Soccer, basketball and volleyball are available to sixth graders this year for the first time at Lakewood Middle School. Sixth graders were already participating in cross country, wrestling and track & field. The decision to allow sixth graders to participate in team sports was made last year by Cascade Middle School League directors.
Interest has been high this year, with enough students last season for three volleyball teams and three boys basketball teams. This season, there are three girls basketball teams.
Lakewood extended participation to sixth graders with funding from the voter-approved Educational Programs & Operations levy, which is used to fund athletics and extracurricular activities.
Lakewood Middle School Athletic Director Jim Barth said he is pleased with the decision because it allows sixth graders to participate more fully in their school community. “It makes sense with our district focus on belonging,” he said.