Dallas and Holy Redeemer worked together, co-sponsoring wrestling on the junior high level this season and the schools plan to carry that effort to the varsity level beginning next season.
The co-sponsorship of the sport was approved at a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association meeting in December, clearing the way for one Dallas resident who is a Holy Redeemer student to compete on the junior high level during the 2017-18 season.
Holy Redeemer does not sponsor its own wrestling program.
Co-sponsorships are becoming increasingly common in the PIAA, particularly with neighboring public school districts that have small numbers of participants on a roster.
If a Holy Redeemer athlete competes for Dallas on the varsity level in the next school year, it will be a first for Dallas. The PIAA approval only covers wrestling.
“There was just one athlete who lives in Dallas that wanted to compete,” Dallas athletic director Nancy Roberts said. “He goes to Redeemer, but wanted to wrestle and we did need more numbers on the junior high level.
“(Holy Redeemer athletic director) J.P. Aquilina and I got together and worked it out.”
Dallas already competes at the higher of the PIAA’s two enrollment levels (Class 3A) in wrestling, so there was no negative impact of having to count a portion of the Holy Redeemer enrollment for classification purposes.
“That was one of the reasons we agreed do it,” Roberts said.
The PIAA computes enrollments every two years, but Roberts said the co-sponsorship application treated it as a indefinite request between the two schools rather than only two years.
Both athletic directors said they are hopeful the agreement will help more than one athlete.
“Once we actually promote it, I think we’ll do pretty well,” said Aquilina, who plans to do so.
Dallas has only tentatively entered into one cooperative sponsorship in the past. Roberts said arrangements were made for an Apple Tree student to be able to play field hockey, but that student never represented Dallas and the agreement was not renewed.