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Elmwood, Plum City discuss co-op for all sports

First, it was track and field. Then, football and cross country joined the mix, while softball made its debut last spring.

The success Elmwood and Plum City have had cooping those sports led both schools to think about making it permanent for all sports.  

The first step was getting the public’s reaction which both schools did last week in community meetings with each School Board.  

Both Superintendents, Mary Baier in Plum City and Paul Blanford in Elmwood, said the response in both towns were very favorable to the idea.

“This was a joint venture,” Baier said. “It wasn’t one school district approaching the other. We believe both schools are going to significantly benefit from this coop.”

Blanford said if the full co-op would be approved, the earliest it would be enacted is the beginning of the 2014-15 school year. Both schools have to notify the state by Feb. 1., 2014, to qualify for fall sports. Elmwood would still remain a coop with Spring Valley in wrestling.

The idea for a full co-op was spearheaded by each district looking at their future number for athletics.

Baier said Plum City would have number issues in both boys basketball and baseball for the 2014-15 year if they remain independent. Elmwood’s concern lies at the middle school level with only 30 students combined between 7th (12) and 8th (18) grades.

“This is all about expanding opportunities,” Baier said. “We would be able to field a B-squad or even C-squad teams. Freshmen would be able to play against freshmen instead of seniors.

“It’s about giving our students the best opportunity the can.”

Added Blanford: “We are trying to be proactive and put something together instead of being desperate in three to four years.”

The main question raised over both meetings was logistics, specifically scheduling of practice and games.

“It’s now about addressing everyone’s concerns to the best we can,” Blanford said, noting practice scheduling for track and field are different from basketball.

Baier added the Districts now have had community input, they would like to receive student input as well. The students between both schools picked the “Wolves” as the co-op name for the sports and silver and black as colors.

“There’s already a very good relationship between Plum City and Elmwood and we hope it continues,” she said.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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