ST. CLOUD - A group of parents at the St. Cloud area school board meeting on Wednesday said they understand the decision to combine Apollo and Tech hockey. However, they emphasized that the board needs to take action quickly.

The board discussed combining the Apollo and Tech High School hockey programs during their work session. Apollo is dealing with a shortage of players, with only one senior, four juniors and two sophomores as returning players for the 2016-17 season. Tech has eight seniors, 16 juniors and six sophomores returning.

Under a proposal, Tech and Apollo hockey would be combined into one class AA program.

After the board discussion, a group of about a dozen parents said they understood and agreed with the necessity to create one team. However, they added that the board needs to act quickly so they can have time to figure out uniforms, fundraising and summer workout schedules. Concerns were also voiced with who the head coach would be under a combined team.

None of the parents wanted to be quoted or named directly. The group consisted of both Apollo and Tech parents.

Apollo is expected to have nine players in 2016-17, 17 players in 2017-18, 19 players in 2018-19 and 26 players in 2019-20. Apollo activities director Dave Langerud said he hopes they will have enough players after two years to split the teams again.

Superintendent Willie Jett told the board the Apollo-Tech hockey item will return during their next meeting on March 31st as an action item.