HOUGHTON - Houghton High School will have a junior varsity hockey program.
The Houghton-Portage Township School District Board of Education voted 6-1 to create the program at Monday night's monthly meeting.
The program will be self-funded. An estimate prepared by parents puts the cost at $20,435 for a season ($1,202.06 per player for a 17-player roster).
Additional fundraising would offset that amount. With a $5,000 donation, costs would drop to $943.24 per player; with $10,000, it falls to $649.12.
Superintendent Bill Polkinghorne said self-funding is a prerequisite.
"If the money doesn't come about, the team doesn't play - period," he said.
Board President Buck Foltz, who also has a child who plays hockey, said the program will be cheaper for players than the alternatives.
"This is about half what it would cost for my child to play the caliber (of league) he's playing in now," he said.
Trustee Crystal Verran voted against it, wanting more details about how the fundraising would be monitored each year, and how the initial efforts would start before a roster was even set.
"Who's going to be doing the fundraising?" she said.
Foltz said the timing of the vote would allow for a meeting with parents of interested children before the end of the school year.
It will be the second self-funded athletic program for the school, along with softball.
Calumet has the only other junior varsity team in the Copper Country. Other potential opponents include Marinette, Rhinelander, Wis., Traverse City, St. Ignace and Appleton, Wis.
Athletic Director Bruce Horsch said varsity hockey coach Corey Markham supports the addition.
"He sees it as helping his program and getting to see those younger kids in the program," he said.