PARIS – Athletic Director Jeff Benson informed the SAD 17 Board of Directors that 39 subvarsity games have been curtailed this school year because of escalating travel costs.

The reduction will save $5,000 in travel costs and $1,500 in officials’ and personnel costs, Benson aid. “We’re taking a very proactive approach,” Benson told directors at the Tuesday night board meeting.

The reductions were taken in the following areas: junior varsity football, freshmen football, boys junior varsity soccer, girls junior varsity soccer, junior varsity baseball, junior varsity softball, ninth-grade baseball, ninth-grade softball, and boys and girls junior varsity lacrosse will be reduced by one game.

Oxford Hills Middle School B team boys and girls soccer will be reduced by two games along with ninth-grade boys and girls basketball. One wrestling meet will be eliminated, and middle school B team football will play three home games and none away.

Although the hit is being taken by the subvarsity games, some adjustments have been made to the varsity games. During the winter, the boys and girls varsity games with Skowhegan for home and away have been combined to reduce costs. Boys and girls varsity soccer games with Mt. Ararat in Topsham, both home and away, have also been combined to reduce costs.

A trip to Vermont for a wrestling exhibition has also been canceled and instead SAD 17 will host its own exhibition at home.

Last year, Benson said, there were 300 trips made for high school and middle school games that cost the district $65,000, not including the drivers. A total of 28,000 miles were traveled for those games. Benson said the travel costs averaged about $2.30 to $2.50 per mile, not including driver expenses.

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