VILLA GROVE — The school board is interested in pursuing a sports cooperative agreement with the Heritage school district.
After being approached by Heritage about the possibility of combining the schools' football programs, the board this week directed school administrators to research more details about establishing a co-op involving all high school sports and perhaps junior high as well.
Both schools offer sports programs not currently offered at the other school, which would also provide new opportunities for athletes from both districts. Board President Steve Douglas said both sides preferred an arrangement where the schools kept their own identity and team name. Each sport would have a designated home court and athletes from the other district would play at the home court school as an athlete of that school. They would keep the same colors, uniforms and school mascots.
The board initially identified football, golf and girls' basketball as sports that had an urgent need to establish a cooperative agreement for next year's schedule.
School administration will look at all other sports for consideration in the future. High school Principal Sheila Greenwood urged the board that they must make a decision soon to have the co-op approved by the Illinois High School Association and the Little Okaw Valley Conference for this fall's football season.
Heritage high school has a current enrollment of 152 students and 175 students attend Villa Grove High School. The combined enrollment would put the co-op team at the top of the Class 1A range for football rankings.