Cody Funk and Keith Moore competed in the Central Ohio All-Star Football Game last Saturday with many thoughts racing through their minds.

Cody Funk and Keith Moore competed in the Central Ohio All-Star Football Game last Saturday with many thoughts racing through their minds.

Both played four years for the Grove City High School football team.

"We could be the last two (to play a game representing the Dawgs)," Funk said.

Both said playing for the Dawgs was a special feeling and they loved the atmosphere at the stadium, where 5,000 people were cheering in the stands.

But as much support as the Grove City football team received throughout the community, district treasurer Hugh Garside said it still didn't make enough money to support itself. According to the district records, he said, none of the district's 64 athletic programs actually came out ahead at the end of the season.

The school board has canceled all sports districtwide, pending the passage of an 8.3-mill operating levy, which will be put to a vote Tuesday.

"There were few choices left open for the district," said superintendent Bill Wise, who has officially submitted a letter to the OSHAA saying that the district would no longer be a member.

According to financial records produced by Garside and detailing the revenue and expenditures for all high school sports during the 2007-08 school year, sports operated at a deficit of more than $1.5-million.

Garside said he was still putting together the figures for the 2008-09 school year, but those numbers were appearing to be similar to the 2007-08 year.

The biggest revenue-producing sport for the district was the Grove City football team, but it had the most expenditures.

The Dawgs pulled in $91,571 in 2007 while spending $131,427, leaving a deficit of nearly $40,000 that needed to be covered. The Grove City Booster Club has fundraisers to cover some of these costs.

Although coach Matt Jordan wasn't around for the 2007 season, the booster club in 2008 was able to come "pretty close" to closing the gap, he said.

No booster club's contributions for 2007 were included in Garside's figures for any sports program at South-Western City Schools.

Calls to Grove City Booster Club president Dena Carlisle were not returned.

The deficits for the other three football programs were even greater than Grove City's. Central Crossing had a deficit of more than $60,000. The Westland football team had a deficit of nearly $81,500 and the Franklin Heights' football team had more than $83,600 of costs that needed covered.

"You can't look at it as one program," said Jordan, who plans to coach at Pickerington North if the levy issue fails. "You have to have everyone and that's the way the district looks at it."

Grove City's stadium seats about 8,500 and individual game tickets cost $6 with season tickets costing $45. Those prices are mandated by the OCC.

Of the expenses the team had in 2007, the largest chunk, $68,900, was to pay salaries for the coaches and a portion of the salary for the athletics director and athletics secretary, with another $13,000 going to required benefits packages for those employees.

"It's expensive to have sports," Jordan said. "It's a shame that some people don't understand that."