Franklin-Waverly co-op vote scheduled

By Ryne Turke on June 25 at 5:28am

A basketball co-op agreement between Franklin and Waverly High School will be voted on tonight by the Franklin school board.

The co-op, which would also include cheerleading, would take effect during the 2015-2016 school year.

Discussion on a merger began in the spring of 2013, which eventually led to a vote by both district school boards in February.

While the Waverly school board approved the co-op, the Franklin school board voted against it with a 4-3 vote.

A few months after that vote, both districts had a mutual interest in re-forming a joint sports committee that had worked on the previous proposal. Franklin Superintendent Andy Stremleau notes that several changes were made from the original proposal.

“We highlighted the 60-40 split of hosting games with Franklin having 60 and Waverly having 40,” says Stemleau.

“We switched Franklin to the fiscal agent, as it was originally Waverly. We had talk in length about the academic eligibility.  We both had similar grades as far as failing in that nature, but we had different eligibility setups. We have changed it to where we would use the Frankilin acedemic eligibility system.”

Stremleau says other changes in the co-op proposal deal with the number of students participating in the boys’ basketball and cheerleading programs.

“We talked about some things such as numbers with cheerleaders. In lieu of cutting cheerleaders, we would have junior varsity cheerleading because both schools only have varsity and that would minimize peoples concerns about someone getting cut at a tryout.”

“For basketball, with the hopeful increase in numbers that this co-op would provide, we would schedule more games at the freshman and JV level to give our athletes a better chance to develop at the freshman and junior varsity levels.”

Stremleau feels it’s common sense for a co-op between Franklin and Waverly since the schools have been sharing athletics and academics for the past twenty years, but notes one major obstacle has stood in the way.

“We totally understand that the reason it hasn’t gone forward at this point is because of the very proud tradition for both schools in their basketball community,” says Stremleau.

“It’s tough to let go of that, yet we are trying to prepare for the next few years. In this situation we can match with somebody that we have a positive relationship with already, as compared to maybe being on our own in the next few years and having to fend for ourselves for all the sports that we  share with the co-op. Without the co-op partners we couldn’t offer all the sports that we do to our student athletes at this time.”

Students of both schools will have a say in the new mascot if the co-op is accepted. Also, both schools will be able to keep their original tradition alive through the junior high level programs.

The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Franklin High School computer lab and is open to the public.