Two years after instituting a co-op with Hope Academy, Minnehaha is eager to add to last year’s 28-man roster by co-oping with three new schools: Blake, St. Paul Academy and Mounds Park Academy.
Due to diminishing numbers, each school saw the need for change, and chose to form a single team. This decision was made by the schools’ athletic directors in a meeting March 13.
“I look forward to the co-op,” said junior captain Andrew Wolpert. “My experience with the Hope Academy players has been so great and I expect that the [new] co-op will be great as well. I think it will be cool to play with some of the guys I’ve played against in the past.”
The regular season schedule is unlikely to change much. However, because the combined enrollment of the member schools surpasses 1,000 students, the newly formed football team will be placed in Class 5A for sections playoffs. Other 5A schools include St. Thomas Academy, Simley and Mankato West.
“We will finally have an advantage in numbers,” said Blake wide receiver William Bean, a sophomore. “In past years Blake has had an issue with numbers, and now we don’t have to worry so much about injuries.”
“Playing tougher competition will increase our level of play, because we will need to come together as a team to be successful.”
Blake plans to be the host of the co-op.
“It’s going to be a shared responsibility,” said Blake Athletic Director Nick Rathmann. “There’s a good chance we’ll be playing at one place and practicing at another. We’re all going to share, so its going to be a really good, collaborative working arrangement.”
Current plans are to have games at Blake and practices at Minnehaha.
The co-op was approved by the Minnesota State High School League on April 2.