Rugby and Bottineau have agreement to co-op for high school hockey
Rugby and Bottineau have a co-op agreement to play high school hockey under one name. The name is Bottineau Braves.
Representatives from the two schools had been meeting this past summer to reach an agreement. They had three options to choose from: 1. Rugby would pay only for transportation costs for its participants to Bottineau for both practices and games. All of the players would compete under Bottineau’s name and Rugby High School would not receive any proceeds from the program. 2. Rugby would pay into the program based on its number of participants. Some games and practices would be held in Rugby. The co-op name would likely include both sides. 3. The two schools would go 50/50 with expenses and revenue shared equally. The teams would play an equal number of games at each town and practices would also be split. The team would share a co-op name.
Option one is the choice for this year. Some of the games will be played at Rugby and some at Bottineau. This was the easiest option for this season as there was not enough time to iron out all the kinks and get ready for the season, according to Coach David Hoff.
The co-oped team started practice together on Tuesday, November 9. The six athletes participating from Rugby are: Leo Hoffart, Kyle Volk, Brandon Sunaert, Jordan Brossart, Sheldon Thompson, and Tanner Lunde.
The cost of the program for this year for Rugby is approximately $8,000. It is a three-year agreement.
As soon as the schedule of games is completed it will be run in the Tribune. Both schools’ schedules have to be considered and finding open dates with just one school is challenging; two schools make it that much more challenging.
Rugby athletes can still play in a youth hockey program sponsored by the Rugby Area Hockey Association (RAHA). Both boys and girls are in the program. Games and practices take place at the Al Wentz rink.
However, numbers were decreasing in the high school age group and the older kids wanted to play competitive high school hockey. The RAHA approached the school board and asked if it would be possible for Rugby and Bottineau to co-op for hockey. The co-op would make it possible to ensure the program would have enough numbers to continue to field a competitive team in the future.
After several meetings, the school board did approve the hockey co-op with Bottineau. The agreement has been approved by the North Dakota High School Activities Association.
Changes in the program can be made for next year, if necessary.
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