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Lewiston school request creating co-op football team with Pawnee City

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In order to continue playing football in the future, Lewiston Consolidated Schools recently wrote a letter to Pawnee City asking to create a co-op team.

Lewiston Superintendent Rick Kentfield said the request was due to decreased participation numbers in their school’s six-man team.

“They just want to play football,” Kentfield said. “We have 10 kids out for six-man right now, and we’re projecting in two years we won’t have enough to play six-man. So we want to offer them a football program. We don’t care if it’s six-man or if it’s eight-man.”

The Nebraska School Activities Association has two-year cycles for team classifications and schedules, with the deadline to classify as a certain team size next fall being Monday, Nov. 1. Currently, both Lewiston and Pawnee City play six-man football.

Kentfield said if Pawnee City declines the co-op for the next football cycle, Lewiston will continue to classify as six-man for another two years.

“It’s important for districts to be able to offer quality extracurricular activities for all students,” Kentfield said. “It’s a part of providing a well-rounded educational experience. We just started discussing this to see if there were some possibilities. Not sure if it will work or not, but we’ll continue to provide a football program if we can.”

If Pawnee City agrees to the co-op, they will join a number of similar teams across the state, including Wood River-Shelton and Allen, Emerson-Hubbard, which were both established in 2020, and Osceola/High Plains, which started in 2018.

With the Nov. 1 deadline quickly approaching, Pawnee City’s school board plans to vote on the proposal at its regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 11, or call a special session at a later date. The school board is also planning a workshop on Tuesday, Oct. 5, at the school’s cafeteria, where the public can share their thoughts about the potential co-op.

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