February 4, 2015

No basketball co-op next year

By Suzanne Werre

The members of the Underwood-Turtle Lake-Mercer-McClusky co-op board members last Wednesday approved the current agreement, after removing the topics of varsity boys and girls basketball, as well as junior high basketball, which means the current co-op with TLMM is pretty much the same as it has been for the past several years. Co-oping sports include football, golf, softball, baseball, and cross country.

The group agreed that it started trying to move on this project, of co-oping the varsity and junior high teams, too quickly, and now is not the time to make a final decision about the upcoming year.

"The boards truly did not have enough time," said McClusky School Board President Bob Tollefson. "But I think that this was an individual district review of it and concerns," and we all probably need to sit back and look at it some more before making a decision.

Board members from the four schools participating in the meeting, Underwood, Turtle Lake-Mercer and McClusky, did briefly discuss the numbers of the potential athletes coming up the ranks in the next couple years, and the writing does seem to be on the wall that it won’t be long until some of the schools will not have enough athletes to fill their own varsity and junior varsity teams, which could lead to the schools’ trying to find those schools willing to play opponents who will be happy playing just one game, or possibly a shortened JV game, plus a varsity game.

One area the board members agreed on was the fact that whether it is McClusky students putting in a lot of driving going to Turtle Lake for practices and games, or Underwood students driving to practice and games, it was very inconvenient for both of them. Especially when McClusky (in the proposed agreement) would have just one home game for its junior high students, while Turtle Lake-Mercer and Underwood would have each had four games on their home courts. The remainder of their games would be "away," leaving each school with just a minimum of home games on their hometown court.

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