Dodge County hockey co-op... to dissolve or not to dissolve?
Kasson-Mantorville Athletic Director Broc Threinen recently reached-out to athletic directors and admin- istrations of Triton, Pine Island, Blooming Prairie, Zumbrota-Mazeppa, Byron, and Hayfield (schools that make up the Dodge County Wildcat Hockey co-op). Threinen’s message was to inform the schools that they were dissolving the co- operative sponsorship of the Dodge County Wildcats boys and girls hockey programs.
As of August 15, 2021, the schools within the cooperative were given notice of the dissolution. “We wanted to give everyone ample time to search for other options and possibly reach out to other schools that are in close proximity to their district; so they can find potential new cooperatives,” explained Threinen.
This issue came to fruition when the hockey program approached Threinen about the possibility of appealing to play on the Class A level.
“We are very similar to the majority of teams that play at the class A level, but the fact that we have seven districts that we count enrollment from, we have been classified in the AA class,” Threinen said. The Wildcats program has appealed to the MSHSL (Minnesota State High School League) for the past several years, to be reclassified in the lower division, but those requests have all been denied.
“We have always strived to provide as many students in the area with an opportunity to play hockey, and have accepted all schools with open arms,” added Threinen. Per the goals of the MSHSL, in regard to co-operative school district activities, once the groups can support their own team with a limited number of school districts, co-operative sponsorships are encouraged to dissolve.
The Wildcats’ program has grown to the size where various numbers of athletes are not allowed on the team, due to roster limitations every year. That, along with playing at the appropriate level, has led to the decision.