R-A School Board Discusses Sharing Football Programs
Options to keep football apart of the student experience at Ruthven-Ayrshire School were discussed by members of the Ruthven-Ayrshire Board of Education during their Oct. 10, meeting.
Athletic Director Jon Josephson addressed the board, “Based on the situation with football at the moment, about three weeks ago, I contacted administrators at Emmetsburg, Graettinger-Terril, and Laurens-Marathon, all of which are contiguous districts to ours, to determine if there was any interest on the parts of those schools to enter into a sharing program with us in football.”
Josephson stated that all three schools would be “somewhat adversely affected” if they were to accept Ruthven-Ayrshire into their football program.
If Ruthven-Ayrshire players were to join their programs, Laurens-Marathon would become 11-player and Emmetsburg would be bumped up from 1A to 2A. Josephson stated that both schools were still interested in discussing sharing and that Emmetsburg administrators sounded “very, very interested in talking” regardless of the change.
“Emmetsburg has said everything is on the table, including names, colors, and mascots,” said Josephson. “The response I got from Emmetsburg was the most open response I ever got from them. It was a very humble and straightforward response. I was very impressed by it.”
“It’s a sad story with Graettinger-Terril,” continued Josephson. “The cut-off for eight-man football is a combined enrollment of 115, and that number comes from grades 9, 10, and 11. At this time, that number appears to be 116, which really puts them in a pickle.”
Josephson shared that he had surveyed Ruthven-Ayrshire boys in grades 7-11 on their thoughts about sharing football. He found: 69-percent plan to play football next year, 56-percent would participate in football is shared with Graettinger-Terril, 54-percent would participate in football if shared with Emmetsburg, and 43-percent would participate in football if shared with Laurens-Marathon.
“There’s some revealing things here,” said Josephson. “Seventy-two-percent of our boys think that sharing high school football with another school would make us more competitive. The next step with this is that I’d like to hear what you think, Unfortunately, we need to declare our intentions to the state by Dec. 1.”
Josephson wants to continue visiting with the three school districts in question and bring options back to the school board to consider.