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School Boards give thumbs-up to cooperative football team

April 21, 2010
MEREDITH — Inter-Lakes High School and Moultonboro Academy will join forces to form a cooperative football team after approval from both School Boards.

Plans had been in the works since last year for the two schools to form a cooperative team. The schools are currently playing hockey together as one team known as the MAILers.

The Inter-Lakes School District and the NHIAA spoke in favor, though the Moultonboro School Board opposed the measure. In the past few months, however, the Moultonboro Board had given its approval to approach Inter-Lakes and work out details to form a cooperative team.

The Inter-Lakes and Moultonboro School Boards both voted in favor of the two schools joining to form a cooperative football team at both meetings on Tuesday night.

A cooperative agreement was presented to both School Boards drawn up in collaboration between Inter-Lakes Athletic Director Anne Galligan, Moultonboro Athletic Director Harry Blood, and members of the booster groups.

According to the agreement, Moultonboro students would enter the football and spirit teams on the Junior Varsity level. They would not be considered for Varsity status until 2011

Friends of Moultonboro Football will also pay an estimated $8,500 to the Inter-Lakes Boosters for the purchase of uniforms and equipment for 2010. Additionally, the agreement calls for the two booster groups to join and form the Inter-Lakes/Moultonboro Football Boosters Club.

Some members of the Inter-Lakes Board expressed concern with the conduct policy as outlined in the agreement that says students will be subject to the policies and disciplinary actions of their respective school.

"I would like to see that our policies and Moultonboro's policies are quite similar in these issues," said Inter-Lakes Board member Carol Baggaley.

Inter-Lakes Superintendent Phil McCormack said there has yet to be an issue with the policy as related to the cooperative hockey team. He said he would bring the issue to the attention of the principals and athletic directors, and the board asked for that to be done.

Blood said officials are working to outline a set of codes and guidelines for the team, which Blood also said would help the coaches and lead to better team management.

Inter-Lakes Board Member Howard Cunningham also called for an amendment to the motion accepting the agreement out of concern with students missing class time.

"Provided no Inter-Lakes student misses a school day," Cunningham said, a policy he wanted to apply to Junior Varsity and Varsity football and spirit.

Cunningham said if a game cannot be rescheduled because of this, the Inter-Lakes team should forfeit.

"If we don't do this, the NHIAA is deciding when our kids will be in class and when they will not," he said.

McCormack said Galligan has been working with other athletic directors and holding strong to a policy that students will not leave for games until the end of the school day, including working with a few other athletic directors who have shown resistance to this.

Cunningham's amendment did not receive a second and failed.

The Inter-Lakes School Board unanimously approved the agreement for the two schools to form a cooperative team.

That same night, the Moultonboro School Board approved the agreement. Blood said the issue had been discussed at length during an Athletic Committee meeting and the Board seemed to have enough information at that time.

Blood said the NHIAA Class Committee has since given its approval. On May 13 the proposal will go before the NHIAA Council for a final vote.

"We have the hockey team going already," Blood said. "The plan is very similar in how we manage sports. We work pretty well together the past four, five years."

Blood said is all approvals go into place practices will begin on Aug. 11. He said he will probably speak to Coach Paul Lavigne before then to prepare.

Before hand, he will give Moultonboro students the opportunity to learn more about the sport and how it operates before getting into practices.

"Once we get through that issue and establish the teams it will go pretty well," Blood "Coach knows what he's doing and he's got a pretty good operation, Everything will happen over there, it's just a matter of getting our kids in the cars and getting them there."

Blood said students are excited about the prospect. He said they were disappointed last year when the measure did not pass the Moultonboro Board, but rallied strongly this year.

He said students are currently focused on spring sports and it will take a while for these developments to sink in.

"I think they'll be more excited once everybody realizes it's happening," Blood said. "For our kids right now it's hard for it to sink in they have a chance for football in the fall."

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