MANISTIQUE - The Manistique School Board narrowly approved a football cooperative agreement with Big Bay de Noc School at a recent special meeting, according to Manistique Superintendent Kathy McDonough.
The cooperative agreement permits a host school to allow students from another school district to participate in a specific sport sponsored by that host school, said McDonough.
"In this case, Manistique Area Schools would be the host school, and allow students from Big Bay de Noc to play football for the JV or Varsity Emeralds," she said. "Each districts' Board of Education agree to enter into the agreement, and it is ultimately approved by the Michigan High School Athletic Association."
If approved by the MHSAA, the cooperative agreement would be implemented for the 2012-13 school year.
Athletic Director Rob Ryan and Varsity Football coach Todd Kangas presented board members with a variety of reasons to consider forming the agreement.
Some of the reasons included: a smaller number of athletes pursuing football, the potential for building a positive relationship with Big Bay de Noc, better competition, and zero anticipated costs to Manistique's football program.
They also said football offers more playing time than other sports, so there should not be an issue with Big Bay players getting more playing time than Manistique players.
The cooperative agreement was passed in a 4-3 vote during the special meeting - held to meet MHSAA's timeline.
Board President Gail Wood, Treasurer Tim Zellner, and trustees Amy Kraatz and Rae Birr voted in favor of the agreement. Board Vice President Giannine Perigo, Secretary Ginger Stark, and trustee Joan Brown voted against the agreement.
The main reason discussed in opposition addressed school-of-choice - since students could enroll and benefit from both academic and athletic programs the MAS district offers, instead of just the athletic aspect.
Manistique's next regular school board meeting will be held May 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the MAS Board/Community Room.