Hinsdale School Staff, Directors Perplexed as Creede Ends Cooperative Basketball Agreement

Hinsdale School District Directors are pondering the future of Lake City Community School athletics, specifically the boys’ and girls’ middle school and high school basketball program, in the wake of a surprise decision by Creede School District to end the cooperative arrangement between the two schools.
Creede School District’s decision not to approve the proposed 2017-18 cooperative agreement allowing Lake City students to join their Creede counterparts on the basketball floor, came during a Tuesday, September 19, meeting in Creede which, in addition to Creede school board members, was attended by Lake City Community School Superintendent Leslie Nichols, School Board President Phil Virden, school coach Dan Scroggins, and school board member Tara Hardy.
At the conclusion of Creede board discussion, the board voted unanimously to terminate the cooperative agreement.
Creede and Lake City have maintained a cooperative agreement for joint boys and girls’ basketball teams since the 2012-13 school year based in part on the contention that neither school has sufficient students to “field an independent team.”
Administered by Creede and with Hinsdale School District funding transport of Lake City students utilizing the Creede School Gymnasium for practice and home games, the “two schools, one team” philosophy enjoyed remarkable success, last season’s combined Creede/Lake City varsity boys’ team ranked sixth in the state at the State 1A Tournament in Greeley, Colorado.
School Superintendent Leslie Nichols was downcast in making announcement of the non-agreement to students and staff late on Tuesday evening. “We are disappointed by the decision,” she stated, “we were surprised at the vote.”
According to Phil Virden, sticking points between the old cooperative agreement which was not approved and the potential of a new agreement include Creede’s requirement for all Lake City players to attend all practices in Creede; Creede to control hiring of all coaches and, lastly, team uniforms to be modified only stating “Creede Miners,” with no reference to Lake City.
In notifying students and parents of the end of the cooperative basketball agreement with Creede, Nichols invited parents to attend a school board meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, September 21. “We encourage you to attend so we can hear your input on the future direction of our basketball program in Lake City.”