When the Perry Community School District Board of Education meets Monday in the Brady Library at PHS it is expected they will agree to a new sharing agreement with Woodward-Granger concerning cross country runners.
Woodward-Granger had been sending their boys and girls harriers to compete with Madrid in recent years, but after last season the Tigers notified they would no longer accept the Hawk harriers as the addition of the W-G student totals forced the team to compete in a higher class.
Now without a home, the Hawks were forced to consider starting their own program. That, however, would cost considerable sums of money, as at least one coach would have to be hired, as well as uniforms purchased, transportation provided and other needs met.
W-G approached Perry about possibly sending their grade 7-12 boys and girls to Perry, and on Monday a sharing agreement will be approved by the hosts. The agreement is similar to the arrangements that Perry has with Panorama in which boys and girls soccer players from Panora compete as members of the Perry team.
Veteran Bluejay head coach Jeff Fox, who began his coaching career with a two-year stint in Woodward (2000-2001), said the inclusion of the Hawk harriers came with nothing but positives for Perry.
“The arrangement will be yearly and is based upon us not being forced into a higher class by adding Woodward-Granger’s numbers, but that should not be an issue,” he explained. “I see this as a win-win for both schools. It gives Woodward-Granger a place to send their kids and lets them still compete in cross country and the extra runners will make the competition for spots on our team that much better.”
According to documents, W-G had a total of 16 students in grades 7-12 running with Madrid team last year and can be expected to send a comparable number to Perry for the 2016 season.
“This will really help our girls team, as our numbers have been compared to the boys while the situation is the opposite for them (W-G),” Fox said. “Shaylena Bell is our new girls varsity coach and Jen Sprung will be coaching the middle school team, and I am sure they will happy to have more girls on the squad.”
W-G has been encouraged to provide a staff member to help with the program. Transportation to and from Perry will be the responsibility of W-G.
“I am looking forward to meeting with the kids who will possibly be joining us as soon as possible,” Fox said. “I believe this will work out well for both sides and am happy we were able to help them out — both sides are going to benefit when we become one team.”