Athletes Await Harlem Referendum Vote

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While next year's budget proposal calls for no coach or teacher reductions, Harlem baseball players are still watching Tuesday's referendum very closely.

In the last five years, budget cuts dwindled Harlem baseball's six coaches down to three. As a result, the team used various fundraisers to bring in money for anything from baseballs to dirt used on the warning track.

Each year, the team typically raises $5,000 to use for equipment, with the district funding buses and umpires, but with the possibility of trimming sports further in the future, players are hopeful the community will vote yes, and give Harlem's academics and sports a boost.

"Of course, we think about the future with the referendums not passing. They are talking about taking away sports and stuff, and we have a good program right here and I want to see that going in the future," Harlem senior pitcher Matthew Shelton said.

"It's kind of nice going to be getting out of high school and it won't really affect me as much but definitely it worries me for the younger kids if they're going to have sports or not," senior third baseman Josh Kennington said.

The Harlem baseball team also raises money through local advertisements, which the players say they enjoy pinning to the outfield fence each season.