Clarion, C-L Junior High Football Co-Op Approved
(Photo by Kyle Yates www.facebook.com/YatesPhoto)
The PIAA Friday passed the co-op after the schools agreed to the co-op after C-L had 14 players out for junior high football at the start of camp a couple of weeks ago.
The schools had previously discussed a co-op in varsity football after the end of last season, but some members of the C-L School Board were opposed to it at that time.
But after the low numbers at both the varsity (C-L dressed just 16 players in Friday night’s win over Union and have just 19 on the roster) and junior high level, a group of parents approached the C-L School Board noting that something needed to happen if their kids were going to be able to play football.
After a lengthy school board meeting, the board agreed to approach Clarion about the junior high co-op, and Clarion School District was receptive to the idea.
That didn’t mean it was a done deal, as the deadline for forming co-ops had long passed meaning that both the PIAA’s District 9 Committee and the PIAA itself would have to approve the co-op.
The District 9 Committee did so first via an e-mail vote, and then a PIAA Committee also approved the jointure Friday.
For this year, the C-L players will play under the Clarion moniker and practice at Clarion.
What this means for the future of the two programs is anyone’s guess.
It would seem that now that the junior high programs are together, the next logical step would be for the varsity programs to become one. But that still faces hurdles – not the least of which is both teams needing to give up their own moniker for it to most likely work. Other factors in play would be how monies would be raised for the booster clubs – Clarion has a football-only booster group while C-L has an all-sports booster club – how the bands would be used, where games would be played and where practices would be held. North Clarion would also need to be part of the discussion considering that school is currently co-oping in varsity football with Clarion.
For any co-op to happen for the 2019 season, Clarion would need to be the host school because it would be happening in the middle of the classification cycle. If C-L was the host school, the Lions’ classification would jump from Class 1A to Class 2A and the team would not be eligible for the postseason under PIAA rules. But if Clarion is the host school, the Bobcats classification would remain at Class 2A and would most likely be approved by the PIAA.
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