Essex and Stanton will share boys and girls golf this spring and softball this summer.
Stanton is adding six players to Essex’s golf teams while Essex will send four or five girls to Stanton to play for the Viqueen softball team this summer.
Essex Athletic Director John Connell said Stanton had a few students interested in golf, but not enough to field a team and since Essex was adding golf this year, the two schools felt it was a good match.
Essex golf coach Jay Soderberg said it’s huge for the program to have five additional girls and another boy on his teams.
“It will greatly increase our depth and our competition level,” said Soderberg. “You can’t just show up and get a spot just because we don’t have enough kids. I think it will push some of the kids to work a little harder to get a top spot.”
There are now 11 boys and 10 girls on Essex’s golf teams.
While Stanton athletes are joining Essex’s golf team, Essex will be sending girls to play on Stanton’s softball team this summer.
Connell said there were not nine girls at Essex that showed interest in playing this summer, but to give the girls that did want to play an opportunity to do so they contacted Stanton.
Stanton Athletic Director Kevin Blunt said this is great opportunity for his school as well because it should get them to 18-20 athletes on the field, allowing them to field varsity and junior varsity teams.
“This will allow the kids to play at a level that they should be playing,” said Blunt. “It’s a good option for both Essex and Stanton.”
The softball and golf sharing agreements are both for one year.
Essex girls golf opens play, Tuesday, April 2, in Clarinda while the boys join the girls in Griswold for their season opener three days later.
Stanton is scheduled to open the softball season, Wednesday, May 22, at home against Nodaway Valley.
Additionally, Essex and South Page’s agreement to share select boys sports will end after the upcoming baseball season.
Essex and South Page shared football and boys basketball during the 2018/19 school year. They also shared baseball during the 2018 season. The two schools will have one final baseball season together this summer, but South Page’s school board voted recently to move forward with Clarinda starting in the fall.