MAXWELL, Neb. (KNOP) - With the Maxwell and St. Pat’s school board having approved the baseball co-op between the two schools, there are still a few steps that need to be completed before the team plays a game.
(Credit: News 2 Sports)
"Our next step is we're going to sit down with [St. Pat’s superintendent] Mr. Dodson, we're going to start hashing out the details, as far as scheduling and those types of things, start-up costs, a lot of the little details is where we'll be going right now," Maxwell superintendent Danny McMurtry said.
The schools also need to design and order jerseys, but have a color scheme already picked out. The two teams will be working in conjunction with the North Platte Legion baseball team, and will have a symbiotic relationship between the two programs.
“We'll be two separate entities, but we want to make sure what we're doing is helping to build their program. We're going to wear the same colors as the Legion program, so those boys that play for both can transition easily. It's going to help the parents financially, and both programs financially as well. We want to work right alongside the Legion, and we're really excited about the opportunity. I think it's going to help both programs out," McMurtry said.
The team will play its home games at Bill Wood Field, where the Legion team plays its games. For a schedule, Maxwell Activities Director Ryan Jones said the team will play approximately 20 games a season, with the goal of six home games in the inaugural season. While no games have officially been scheduled, Jones said he has been in contact with other ADs about the prospect of playing their schools in baseball.
"Bill Wood Field is an amazing spot to play baseball. People are excited about the possibility to come in and play a doubleheader against us,” Jones said. "There are a lot of schools around Grand Island that have high school baseball, a few around Kearney, so that's the goal, at least starting out with, to play majority of the schedule with those teams."
Both St. Pat’s and Maxwell play in Class D for their boys sports, but McMurtry and Jones are not worried about the teams’ size from a competitive standpoint, as they will not even be the smallest group competing next season.
"We will be one of the smaller B schools. There are a lot of co-ops, there are a lot of small schools who are doing this to provide opportunities for their students. We're not the only small schools out there, but we're excited for the challenge," McMurtry said.
The NSAA hopes the Maxwell/St. Pat’s co-op will inspire other schools in West Nebraska to consider adopting a baseball program of their own.
"They've considered us the gateway to the West. So, they're excited about the opportunity of baseball expanding, and that'd be great for us if it did happen. So, hopefully there are some more schools that jump on board," McMurtry said.
"There's a possibility of some teams out here starting high school baseball, that's our hope. If it doesn't happen, so be it, but I think in the next few years here you'll see a few more," Jones said.