2017-06-15 / Local News

Co-op talks continue in Suttons Bay

The future of cooperative sports programs between Northport and Suttons Bay was discussed in more detail at the Suttons Bay Board of Education meeting on Monday.

Suttons Bay Superintendent Chris Nelson and others took the decreasing size of the district’s graduating classes into consideration, mentioning that the school is graduating 50-plus students annually while bringing in new classes of just 20 to 25 students.

Since the trend is expected to continue, Suttons Bay has been in talks with Northport to set up an alternative cooperative agreement in which Northport students could participate on all Suttons Bay athletic teams.

Only two teams currently wear Northport jerseys, a boys basketball team and Northport-St. Mary volleyball program.

“There have been discussions about what that could look like, but there’s been nothing official,” said Northport Athletic Director Josh Vander Meulen. “The only thing that’s been voted on and official is girls basketball.”

The recently announced girls basketball program is still pending MHSAA approval, as would all future cooperative programs between the districts.

The Suttons Bay Board of Education will likely revisit the discussion at a later date, but there is no indication that another co-op will form before 2018.

“It’s been an ongoing discussion,” Suttons Bay AD Doug Periard said.

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