Wisdom and Van Buren form Cooperative Soccer team.

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 10:14 AM EDT
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ST AGATHA, Maine (WAGM) -Two schools who have worked together in the past are working together again. Wisdom and Van Buren will field boys and girls soccer teams together. This isn’t the first time the two schools have formed a cooperative team.

<(Tammie Lerman):” Going into the season we had 12 Wisdom players for the boys and Van Buren had four players that wanted to play. We were able to field a boys team. Going into it for the girls we had 14 with two being eighth graders, so this helped allow our student athletes to be able to play.”

(Matt Rossignol):” Us not having a team here was not going to deter the 8 individuals, four boys and four girls, so far and that number could change. They expressed an interest they wanted to be dedicated to the sport and playing on a team even if it not the blue and gold. They are grateful to be competing with the Wisdom Pioneers and wearing green and gold.”

Forming cooperative teams is nothing new for Van Buren and Wisdom. Both schools have been a part of cooperative teams in all sports seasons in the past.

Lerman:” This isn’t new to us. A few years ago, we needed help with our softball team and Madawaska opened their doors. Then the next year we were able to field our own team. We have a couple of student athletes who go to Van Buren for tennis and that has worked out. Just this spring again we had Madawaska who needed us for their softball teams. We stepped in and helped them out.”

Rossignol:” We are very appreciative and grateful they did that and the MPA approved our request. We are looking forward to seeing our athletes continue to play.”

This past year Van Buren and Wisdom formed a cooperative tennis team that allowed Pioneers players to compete on the courts. Both Athletic Directors say that giving their student athletes a chance to compete and excel is their goal

Lerman:” I think it is very important to work with our neighboring schools because we are doing this for our children. It’s all about them. As an Athletic Director my responsibility is to provide them an opportunity to play a sport they love.”

Small schools struggle with numbers frequently. There are many reasons for the low numbers from diminishing enrollment to students deciding not to compete. Rossignol would like to be able to find a solution to that problem because he would like to see as many students as possible get the full High School experience of education and after curricular activities.

Rossignol:” Young students look at athletics maybe as a luxury. They see having employment opportunities, buying an automobile, things of that nature more important than playing athletics. I am finding a lot of students who would be good athletes give me those answers for not participating. We have to change that mindset. We have to express to these young students how athletics help mold them to become responsible adult contributors in the future.”

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