Soccer co-op with rival doesn’t fly

Cedar Grove-Belgium has enough players; Ozaukee may try to combine in other sports
Ozaukee Press Staff

Plans for a co-op boys’ soccer team between the Ozaukee and Cedar Grove-Belgium high schools fizzled this year, likely leaving OHS with barely enough players to field a team.

Last September, Athletic Director Andy McKee proposed the idea of creating co-op teams with other schools to the Northern Ozaukee School District School Board.

With about 35% of the student body participating in sports programs, McKee said partnering with other schools would ensure sports teams have enough members to play and remain competitive in the Big East Conference.

McKee said after receiving board approval to form the soccer co-op, he gathered the necessary signatures and documents and gave the proposal to the Cedar Grove-Belgium Athletic Director Nate Lukas.

In late February, McKee said he was contacted by Lukas and was told the deal is off. He said Cedar Grove-Belgium had enough students to form a team this fall and would not need to partner with NOSD.

“That is a real blow,” McKee said. “We’re going to try to field a team in the fall but it is going to be tough.”

Expecting the co-op to be approved, McKee said he was in the process of reformatting the school’s soccer conference to bring in other co-op teams, but without a Cedar Grove-Belgium agreement the Big East will remain as is.

“That kind of blew up a bunch of schools’ plans for next fall,” he said.

Boys’ soccer is not the only program battling low participation. Many teams in the district are struggling to find enough students to field viable teams.

McKee said the number of students playing football is half what it was six years ago, and baseball numbers are also slightly down.

Girls’ sports teams are also seeing a dip in participation.

McKee said the girls’ softball program has been reformatted to junior varsity only to ensure there are enough players. The team also reworked its schedule to not conflict with girls’ soccer games or track and field meets. McKee said doing so will allow girls interested in doubling up on sports the chance to do so without schedule conflicts.

The girls’ soccer team will also lose some graduating seniors this year, leaving the team with about 13 members.

“It’s a struggle, I’m not going to lie,” McKee said. “We have about 37 girls spread across three sports right now and it’s rough.”

The golf team, made up of both boys and girls, has seven members, McKee noted.

The next co-op team on the table will be a girls’ softball team with Cedar Grove-Belgium, McKee said. Paperwork for the change must be filed by June 1.

“I think it’s for the best. It’s definitely something we need to alleviate spring sports for the girls,” McKee said.

Cedar Grove-Belgium has 13 girls in its softball program this season.



Click Here to Send a Letter to the Editor

Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


User login