TACOMA -- Tackle football is coming back to Tacoma’s middle schools this fall after a 25-year hiatus.
Budget cuts eliminated middle school football in 1987.
Girls will also be able to run cross-country in middle school for the first time in Tacoma.
The rest of the district’s middle school sports, including baseball, track and basketball, will go from grade-level based intramural programs to more a competitive varsity system.
The sports will be paid for without hurting academics, said a district spokesperson.
In 2009, the district received permission to find alternate ways to pay for sports programs.
Tacoma Public Schools found businesses to advertise on scoreboards and made deals with photographers, food and beverage vendors to help fund the sports.
Private boosters with the Tacoma Athletic Commission also helped raised money.