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Carlton School Board approves co-op football team

The Carlton School Board unanimously approved an agreement Monday, April 29, to establish a cooperative football team between Carlton and Wrenshall starting in 2019.

The Carlton School Board unanimously approved an agreement Monday, April 29, to establish a cooperative football team between Carlton and Wrenshall starting in 2019.

The districts' activities directors have been hammering out an agreement for several weeks to pair for football at the varsity, junior varsity and junior high levels.

While Wrenshall's numbers would have allowed the school to establish nine-man teams at the JV and junior high levels, there weren't enough interested players for a varsity squad.

Carlton had plenty of players for its varsity team, but would not be able to field JV or junior high teams based on its projected numbers.

The agreement will also require the team to compete in Section 7A instead of at the nine-man level both schools have been playing at for the past several years. Schedules are already set for 2019, so the cooperative team will play the seven games currently on its schedule against nine-man teams and compete in Section 7A as an 11-man team for the playoffs.

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Wrenshall and Carlton activities directors Jeremy Zywicki and Ben Midge are working to fill a hole in the schedule with an 11-man team. Wrenshall and Carlton were scheduled to play Oct. 4, but since the schools will compete as one team, it creates an opportunity to play at the 11-man level at least once before the playoffs.

The districts plan to split the costs of the team evenly and students will still pay participation fees to their respective schools.

Students from both districts will form a committee to develop some options for a mascot for the Carlton-Wrenshall team. 12 student athletes - six from each district - will decide on five potential mascots and students from each district will vote for their preferred mascot. The mascot receiving the most votes from the combined student bodies would then become the mascot for all current or future cooperative teams.

Carlton and Wrenshall formed a paired cross-country team in 2018 and plan to compete again cooperatively in 2019.

The Wrenshall School Board unanimously approved the agreement during its April 15 meeting.

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