SHADYSIDE - Beginning Aug. 2, the student athletes in the Shadyside Local School District will join their counterparts at four other Ohio Valley Athletic Conference schools in participating in athletic drug testing.
Last spring, the Shadyside Board of Education members approved a drug and alcohol testing policy, modeling it after the one currently being utilized in the Barnesville school district.
Buckeye Local, Martins Ferry and Cambridge schools also employ similar policies.
"The students will meet at the school on Aug. 2 and receive their initial testing," said incoming athletics director John Triveri. "After the initial testing, we'll select 10 students periodically for random testing.
"And students can be randomly selected more than once."
According to Triveri, the random testing will be done at one-month intervals throughout the remainder of the school year.
The cost is roughly $9 per test; a cost that will be picked up by the district.
Like other districts, this move was not done simply as a punishment mechanism for potentially offending students.
While it is designed to find out who, if anyone, is using anything from the banned list of substances, a main goal is to help get any student who happens to fail the test the help they need.
"So many districts in Ohio are starting to go this route. It's a program that is growing," Triveri said. "We felt it was important in Shadyside to do this for our athletes.
"It's not something that is being done to hurt our students. It's something to help them."
The test will be a nine-panel screening that includes looking for nicotine usage.
Other substances that will be tested for include: anabolic steroids, alcohol, amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cannabinoids, cocaine, metabolite, LSD, methadone, opiates, phencyclidine and propoxyphene.
Triveri, who has been employed in the district for 18 years, is taking over for outgoing athletics director Gary Cunningham. Triveri takes over officially on July 1.
Triveri noted that in preparation for preparing for his new position and responsibilities, he hasn't had the opportunity to sit down with parents to specifically discuss their feelings on the testing policy.
However, he noted that as of yet, he hasn't heard any mass grumblings about the policy's implementation.
Principal John Haswell informed the students of the testing program and its details back in may.
Hughes may be reached at email@example.com