Brookfield Central, Brookfield East and Catholic Memorial High School hockey programs have agreed to form a co-op as the Stars.
According to Brookfield Central Athletic and Activities Director Todd Sobrilsky and Brookfield East Athletic and Activities Director Corey Golla, the main factor in the co-op decision was participation numbers.
In the 2012-13 school year both hockey programs (Brookfield Stars for Central and East and Crusaders for Catholic Memorial) project to have between 14 to 16 players in grades 9-12 in their programs. These numbers are based on the returning athletes (12 for the Stars, 10 for Catholic Memorial) and the number of present eighth-graders playing youth hockey in the feeder programs (four in each). Of the 14 to 16 players involved in each program, six to nine would be labeled as "varsity" level players. In the next two to four years the current youth feeder programs project to offer the same consistent four or five student athletes per year into the program.
"In order to offer a quality, competitive hockey experience for student athletes, a minimum of twenty-five to thirty participants must be in place, which the new co-op will provide," said Sobrilsky.
The Brookfield Stars chose to co-op with the Crusaders because they offer a similar program philosophy in that they would prefer to be a stand-alone program, but know that is currently not in their best interest due to participation. Sobrilsky explained the plan for the next three to four years is for the co-op to allow Brookfield and Catholic Memorial to achieve higher participation numbers in order to go back to sustaining their own programs. The agreement between the Stars and Crusaders will include threshold numbers (22 to 25) that would trigger the co-op to be dissolved.
"While other school districts in the area have requested an opportunity to co-op with the Stars, they only offer one to three student athlete spots," said Sobrilsky. "That kind of co-op approach does not fit with our school district's philosophy of program-building and vision of sustaining our own stand-alone hockey program in the future. A co-op with Catholic Memorial serves our best interests at this time."
The School District of Elmbrook will oversee the co-op, which will be called the Stars. Beginning in the 2012-13 school year, Corey Golla will handle responsibilities including supervision of coaches, game/event management, budget, event transportation, booster group and WIAA liaison duties.
Brookfield Stars coach Chris Frantz resigned as head coach on April 2 after coaching the team for the last two years.
"We would like to thank coach Frantz for his time and efforts leading the Stars," said Sobrilsky. "This year's WIAA state tournament run was truly amazing, and Coach Frantz should be proud of his part in that accomplishment. We wish him nothing but the best of luck in the future."
Sobrilsky and Golla intend to hire a head coach to lead the "new" co-op pending official WIAA approval of the co-op proposal in late April.
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