St. Mary's Schools recently declined Sleepy Eye Public's latest football co-op proposal on Tuesday, March 10.

On Thursday, January 23rd during a joint committee meeting requested by Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s, Sleepy Eye High School and Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s met to discuss a possible coop in football.

Sleepy Eye Public originally offered to co-op football programs between the two schools for 2020, but if 2020 did not work, Sleepy Eye Public was willing to go with a 2021 co-op. St. Mary’s at the conclusion of the meeting requested a few weeks to gather information, to inform and survey parents and then would report to Sleepy Eye Public on their decision.

On February 24, St. Mary’s informed Sleepy Eye Public they were going to decline the 2021 co-op proposal and instead offered a phased-in co-op beginning at the younger levels and beginning a full co-op in 2023.

Sleepy Eye Public had felt that 2023 was out of their necessary timeline for their current needs. Sleepy Eye Public stood by their original 2021 proposal and offered once again a full 50/50 co-op with St. Mary’s Schools. Sleepy Eye Public’s proposal also indicated that all youth levels and the junior high levels would co-op in 2020 with a full program co-op in 2021.

Sleepy Eye Public also acknowledged that if 2021 would not be fit for St. Mary’s, they would have been willing to compromise for a 2022 co-op, although not ideal due to section alignments from the MSHSL.

On Tuesday, March 10, the Herald-Dispatch was informed that St. Mary’s had declined the Sleepy Eye Public School’s co-op proposal.

In a statement released via e-mail St. Mary’s School administration stated, “Thank you for your patience and support as we worked towards reaching a decision about our football program. After much prayer, discussion with our Evangelization and Catechesis Committee, and listening to our stakeholders, we have decided not to accept the Public School proposal at this time.”

Sleepy Eye Public School administration is expected to meet with its school board on Wednesday, March 11. At the time of press, there were no further comments from either school.