Midland Community Unit School District 7 voted 4-3 to end a co-op football program the district has shared with schools in Henry and Washburn Wednesday night, a decision many parents and players advocated against.
“He’s only doing so well in school because he knows that if he fails he doesn’t get to play football. What do I tell him now? What’s his incentive now,” a parent at the meeting asked the boards decision.
Many parents and players advocated for the program to stay in place.
“The most positive impact that football has on my life, is that it brings me closer to people, friends and it keeps me out of trouble,” Midland High School student Dillon Schokpe said.
The program involved three schools forming one team. called the River Valley Falcons.
“This community all three Lacon, Henry, Washburn have been outstanding. They’re just slapping everybody in the face by knocking it down and there is no reason,” Booster Club Officer Cathy Bohm said.
Many in favor of nixing the program blamed the districts financial situation.
“I really respect all of you, I respect what you’ve done. But the numbers aren’t there. It just won’t add up,” one board member who voted no said.
Which left many with a bitter taste in their mouths.
“They’re votes, when it comes to the next election, I hope people remember just how they tore this program apart,” Bohm said.
Parents said their partner schools in Henry and Washburn voted to keep their co-op going. It is unclear how this decision will affect them.
The board president, Ryan Weber, declined to comment on the decision, though he did vote in favor of keeping it. Superintendent Bill Wrenn adviced the board to keep the program and also declined to comment.