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Joint gymnastics team: Frazee-Vergas to co-op with DL program

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The Frazee-Vergas gymnastics program will now be co-oping with the Detroit Lakes program, and parents are not happy that the district has “dismissed” one more activity.

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“Co-oping is not in the best interest of the students,” Coach Amie Erickson said Tuesday morning at the regular school board meeting.

The board introduced the issue at the June board meeting, saying that the gymnastics program was taking up too much space in the gymnasium for too long a period of time. The issue of dissolving the program was proposed, but Erickson asked for time to find other options.

She came back in July and reported that she had talked with the Minnesota Flyers program in Detroit Lakes, and they would be willing to rent space to the Frazee gymnasts, and Erickson would continue as coach.

At Tuesday’s meeting though, she questioned how the options went from a space issue to co-oping with Detroit Lakes and that she didn’t even know it was an option being discussed.

“We were being asked to leave for space reasons, not financial reasons,” she said. “If we’re trying to build up our kids, this is not the way.”

Superintendent Terry Karger presented the board with three options for the gymnastics program. The first was to dissolve the program. The second was to rent space from the Flyers. The third was to co-op with Detroit Lakes School District.

Karger recommended the third option, but said the district should “hold onto the youth program on campus, which is vitally important.”

Activities Director Nick Courneya said that co-oping would give gymnasts “opportunity to succeed at the varsity level.”

Board member Rich Ziegler said that the decision was personal to him because his son was on the golf team and had the district been co-oping with Detroit Lakes for golf, his son likely wouldn’t have played.

But with the smaller team in Frazee, he was able to go to state three years.

Board member Ken Fett said that the board isn’t dismissing gymnastics and that it will still be an option for girls to participate in.

The board voted to approve the cooperative with Detroit Lakes, but Ziegler voted opposed and Matt Bauer was absent.

After the vote, there were several parents who verbally expressed their dismay by saying the school “sucked,” crying, walking out of the meeting and basically making it known they did not approve of the vote.

Also at the board meeting, the board voted to advertise the community education position at 190 days a year, as it had been reduced to when Lori Thorp resigned from the position.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.

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