Souhegan board approves co-op

An cooperative ice hockey team between Nashua High School North and Souhegan High School in Amherst is one step closer to becoming a reality after Souhegan’s school board approved the idea last week.

With low membership on both teams, North and Souhegan want to combine forces to present a team large enough to compete next season. But first, the proposal must go before the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association’s Classification Committee.

According to Nashua athletic director Lisa Gingras, the next NHIAA Classification Committee meeting is April 15, although it is not yet for certain whether the organization will review the proposal.

If the committee agrees to review the proposal, district officials from both schools will advocate for the co-op team.

To pass the co-op, Nashua and Souhegan have to ask for special exception from NHIAA rules.

“We are fighting an uphill battle to get this approved, because we both have hockey programs this year, and it’s not a classification year,” said Nashua Athletic Director Lisa Gingras at a March 30 school board meeting. Typically, teams seeking a co-op apply within a “classification year” and do not host a team the year prior.

Nashua has to seek a partner outside the district since the city’s two high schools cannot form a co-op with each other.

According to NHIAA rules, the combination of the two schools in a co-op can’t exceed the enrollment size of the largest competitor, which for Nashua is Pinkerton Academy, with an enrollment of 3,128.