Ridgeview Board approves Lexington co-op without Blue Ridge

FARMER CITY — The Ridgeview School Board has voted to extend a football co-operative with Lexington but not Blue Ridge, the Blue RIdge School Board learned this week. 

Board President Justin Otto read a statement noting that a Tuesday night Ridgeview Board vote ended in a 5-2 margin to go ahead with a two-way co-op with Lexington and Ridgeview. The vote to include Blue Ridge in the co-op was tabled. 

“We are extremely disappointed with the outcome of this process, though we understand that boards of education must make the decisions that are in the best interest of their students,”  Otto read in a statement to the board.  

The Blue Ridge board voted last month to extend the three-way co-op two more years, but that extension now looks all but dead. 

Lexington still needs to approve the two-way team, then the Heart of Illinois Conference would need to do so as well. 

Blue Ridge Principal John Lawrence attended the Ridgeview school board meeting and said the decision “doesn’t sit well.” 

“It was completely unexpected...really a shame” he said. “We helped them out...now they have pretty much slammed the door in our face.” 

Lawrence has begun the process of calling other schools in other districts to see if they are in need of a co-op partner. 

In his statement, Otto said one apparent hang-up was that adding Blue Ridge would make the team elligible for a larger class of football playoffs. 

In the previous two years of the co-op, the schools did not record a win. 

“We will continue to keep  the board and the public updated on any new developments,” Otto said. 

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