The two schools are working on it.

In January administrators and school board members from Sleepy Eye Public and St. Mary’s schools met to discuss the possibility of forming a co-op football team. At the cordial meeting the various details of combining programs were considered. Public school board members were firm in their decision that a co-op should begin in 2021.

St. Mary’s Principal Peter Roufs said a parent meeting was set for Feb. 19 to provide information and get feedback on the proposed co-op. Roufs said he would have an answer for the administrators at Public School on Monday, Feb. 24, after completing a parent survey following the meeting.

A letter sent to St. Mary’s parents, and shared with the Herald-Dispatch, on Feb. 24, provided the decision of St. Mary’s administration to pursue a football co-op with public school.

Roufs told the Herald-Dispatch that the information in the letter could be published.

After the January meeting between the local schools, and before the Feb. 19 meeting at St. Mary’s, a new wrinkle came into the picture. New Ulm Cathedral High School reached out to St. Mary’s with a request to discuss a football co-op between the two Catholic high schools.

The Feb. 24 letter to St. Mary’s families contained the following information:

•Appreciation for the productive discussion [on Feb. 19] and how people remained charitable even though there were different views expressed.

•Survey results, 50% wanted to co-op and 50% wanted to remain St. Mary’s own program. With respect to the idea of who to co-op with, 63% chose SE Public and 37% said Cathedral.

•The administration proposed a co-op with Sleepy Eye Public School, with topics such as host, game location, coaching staff, etc., listed. The recommendation was to phase-in the co-op, starting with elementary, then junior high, and high school in 2023.

The year to begin a local co-op appears to be the only issue the two schools differ on.

A football co-op committee had been formed among Public School Board members — Casey Coulson, Bryan Sellner, and Darla Remus. On Tuesday afternoon, Superintendent John Cselovszki said, “Our board committee is meeting this week to discuss the proposal. We will provide St. Mary’s administration our response after that meeting.”