Sibley East explores cooperative soccer program with GSL


How many Sibley East students in Grades 7-12 would be interested in playing boys and girls soccer as a high school sport?

That is the question that will attempted to be answered soon.

Ed and Molly Montiel of Arlington had requested to have the question of offering a cooperative soccer program with Glencoe-Silver Lake (GSL) at the Board of Education meeting April 20.

Kay Wilson, GSL activities director, told the school board that she knows quite of few families that would be interested in participating in a school soccer program. The students presently play with the Glencoe Stars in a summer soccer league.

All students involved in the program must sign and abide by the Minnesota State High School League eligibility rules and the GSL local policies. Physicals are required of all participants every two years.

Practices are conducted at Oscar Olson Park in Glencoe, one block south and east of the high school. Home games would be played in Glencoe, middle school and Junior Varsity games at Oscar Olson park and most varsity home games are played in Stevens Seminary Stadium, north of the high school.

Busing would originate at GSL, but Sibley East would provide transportation for students to GSL High School for practices and games. Students would ride together on GSL transportation to and from the away meets.

Equipment, supplies, and uniforms would be provided by the GSL District, with the exception of practice clothes, shoes, and shin guards.

The estimated cost to provide a cooperative program would be $350 per student. All students involved in the cooperative would pay activity fees to their own districts. GSL charges $85 for grades 7 and 8, and $125 for 9-12 soccer.

Each cooperating school district will be billed at the end of the season, including post-season tournament expenses, by pro-rating all expenses incurred by GSL in operating the soccer program according to the total number of participants in each district. If the enrollment totals of all schools should increase, resulting in the Minnesota State High School League reclassification of the soccer program, the cooperative agreement will be dissolved unless the school boards will agree to continue the cooperative agreement.

Jim Amsden, Senior High principal, said that he received a request from 13 students to explore participating in a soccer program.

Superintendent John Langenbrunner said that cooperative arrangements provide opportunities for students and help keep students here at our district. Some possible negatives of an arrangement, based on his previous administrative experiences, include inconsistencies in disciplinary guidelines, and costs that aren’t budgeted for, such as transportation, unless the parents/students provide them.

“We will have other parents that’ll want to do cooperative sharing in hockey,” Langenbrunner said. “It takes away athletes from certain programs.”

Amsden said that in recent history, Sibley East lost three students to other districts because of athletic opportunities that Sibley East did not offer.

A cooperative agreement would need to be signed before the first day of practice, which begins in August.

GSL currently cooperatives with GFW and Norwood Young America with the soccer program. There are approximately 60 students involves in Grades 7-12. They play opponents in the Wright County Conference, in addition to St. Cloud, Waconia, New Ulm and Willmar. They have also participated in a tournament in Wisconsin. Ed Montiel of Arlington will serve as an assistant coach.

The possible cooperative program will be discussed at the May 18 school board meeting in Arlington.