PANORA — The Panorama School Board recently approved the creation of new Panther boys and girls soccer teams at the high school level, which will begin competition in the spring of 2018.
The decision means the dissolution of a sharing agreement with Perry, which has been in place for several years. Both the Bluejays and Jayettes have greatly benefited from the arrangement, with many quality players and key starters from both squads coming from Panora.
Panorama Superintendent Shawn Holloway said a series of factors were involved in the decision.
“We just thought it was the right time,” he said, noting a growing interest in a local youth league and the results of a survey sent to students. “There has always been concern about the travel back-and-forth from Perry for our kids, and the cost, time and safety likely stopped a few kids who would play here from playing at all because of those issues.”
“I want to make sure people know this in no way is something negative about Perry,” Holloway added. “Everyone in Perry has been wonderful to work with, and this is certainly not a reflection on them. We just feel it is the right time for us to give it (soccer) a try.”
While no Bluejay players in the 2017 season were from Panorama, three key members of the Jayettes were, and the team will miss their contributions, as sophomores Bryn Steffen and Jaelyn Waddle (each with two goals) and sophomore defender Erica Block all played key roles in an 11-7 season. Perry was 6-1 in Raccoon River Conference play and is considered a legitimate threat to reach the state tournament in 2018.
Holloway noted Panorama had been sending girls interested in swimming to Carroll. Several younger girls already compete for the Perry Winter Swim Team, and the superintendent said sending interested high school girls to Perry as part of a new sharing agreement was “something that might come together.”