Crookston School Board approves forming boy's hockey co-op agreement

Jess Bengtson
Crookston Times

    Crookston School Board approved forming a boy’s hockey cooperative agreement with Fertile-Beltrami and Sacred Heart (East Grand Forks) schools at their monthly meeting Monday with the consensus that the co-op would not affect enrollment. School Board chair Frank Fee noted that there would be a “safeguard” in place that would not allow a student who open enrolls to another school such as Sacred Heart the ability to play hockey under the cooperative agreement.

    Superintendent Jeremy Olson told the board that there were discussions about co-ops last year and Crookston School District received interest from Fertile.

    “We’ve stated very clearly that we’re interested in co-ops,” Olson explained. “Fertile is asking to form a co-op for (boy’s) hockey and Sacred Heart talked to Greg (Garmen), too.”

    “We would partner with the two schools and not compete for enrollment; it would give us additional student-athletes,” he added.

    Olson also said that Sacred Heart understands the “non-competing” enrollment and reported that they’ve made the board position “very clear” with the partners at Fertile-Beltrami and Sacred Heart. He added that the district has the opportunity to break the co-op giving one year’s notice if it does not go as planned.

    “The boy’s hockey program numbers are not very good and it goes down quite a ways even to seventh and eighth graders,” said Fee.

    When asked by School Board member Patty Dillabough how many student-athletes might be expected to join the boy’s hockey program under the co-op, Olson said any numbers are estimates but they could be in the “neighborhood” of four students for next season and down the road there’s a potential for additional athletes - possibly seven.

    “We want to make sure that Crookston players still have opportunities and it (the co-op) will be beneficial to our program,” Olson added.

    Activities Director Greg Garmen told the Times after the meeting that nothing is official as of yet as Fertile and Sacred Heart still need to take the cooperative agreement option to their own school boards and act on it.

    “Tonight we were just making sure that our school board was ok with moving forward,” said Garmen.

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