(4-3-19) The new District football plan being put into place for Illinois High School football has thrown a curve ball to coop teams around the state.

Recently a story in the Hoopeston Chronicle highlighted those issues.

At the March 21st Board of Education meeting Hoopeston Area High School Principal John Klaber told board members  that local officials met with school administrators from the two other coop members,  Schlarman Academy and Armstrong-Potomac to discuss the request from the IHSA asking for a new two-year commitment from coop schools.

The results of those discussions…Armstrong-Potomac was willing to extend the agreement, but Schlarman was unwilling to sign the extension. .According to the Hoopeston Chronicle story Schlarman had planned on remaining in the coop through next season, but they were unwilling to sign on for an additional year because they want to explore creating an eight-man football team in the future.

Klaber was quoted in the story as saying:

“‘We don’t have football’ is not an option in my mind.We’ve got some amazing kids who are doing some amazing things. We have to do what we can to rally around this and try to drive forward.”

The board did not move forward with Klaber’s suggestion of forming the coop with Armstrong-Potamac, who said they would agree with the extension. At the April BOE meeting Klaber will bring another proposal for the board to consider. That proposal could include moving to eight-man football in the future.

So why is the IHSA asking for the new two year commitment?

According to an email reply to SSN from the IHSA’s Assistant Executive Director Matt Troha:

We are moving to a two-year classification cycle for 2019-20 and 2020-21. All Coops are required to be two-year commitments.

Thus, we have essentially eliminated all Coops and are asking them to re-register and start anew next year so that the two-year Coops align with two-year class cycles.

So in that regard, yes, some schools are going to have to make decisions on if they want to renew Coops.

Keep in mind that any change in coop status might cause some issues in  conferences play for the upcoming season.  Should a coop dissolve it could cause some issues in scheduling for those conference members they play.