ST. CLOUD -- The St. Cloud Area School District is moving forward with five new co-op high school sports teams in the upcoming school year.

At Wednesday night's meeting, the school board voted to approve combining the Apollo High School and Tech High School girls tennis, boys tennis, girls softball, boys baseball, and girls basketball teams. The new co-ops join the existing joint teams for gymnastics, wrestling, boys hockey, girls hockey, boys lacrosse, and girls lacrosse.

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Tech boys swimming will remain in a separate co-op with Sauk Rapids-Rice and ROCORI, and the Apollo boys and girls nordic ski team with stay with Sauk Rapids-Rice.

Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Laurie Putnam presented the new branding for the Apollo and Tech combined teams which will be called the St. Cloud Crush. She says the name ties into the history of the city.

It's important that our co-op name reflect the history and tradition of the St. Cloud community in relationship to granite and the granite industry, hence the crush.

The teams’ colors will be royal blue and orange on a background of either white, grey, or black, and the logo is still in development. The district says the decision to combine followed participation levels dropping below the threshold that would allow for enough kids to fill out 9th grade, junior varsity, and varsity team rosters.

The approval of the crosstown joint teams comes on the heels of the announcement that former Apollo boys swim coach Alexandra Badger has been named as the new Apollo Activities Director while Tech Activities Director Dave Langerud is resigning from his position. Putnam says Tech Assistant Principal Molly Kensy will be helping cover during the transition, but no official replacement has been named.

At the meeting, the board also voted to renew the district's membership with the MSHSL for the 2021-2022 season.

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