A sports pairing agreement with the Butterfield-Odin Schools was approved by the St. James School Board at its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday night.
The agreement is for the next two school years and can be renewed each year after that.
It’s still the SAINTS
One issue that might have been of concern to some St. James sports fans is the mascot of the team. It will remain the Saints.
However, as Butterfield-Odin athletes are being included under this agreement, the team name will be known as St. James Area instead of just St. James. ‘SJA Saints’ might become the most common moniker used to identify the teams.
There already is precedent for a name like this in the South Central Conference, as one team name is Blue Earth Area, or BEA for short.
The two school committees working on the name considered other names like St. James Butterfield Odin, or Watonwan West, but felt St. James Area was the best solution.
The colors will remain the same Red and Black.
The biggest change for St. James residents is the school fight song. Out is the existing St. James fight song, and in is the current Butterfield- Odin fight song.
St. James current fight song is based on the Notre Dame Victory March and the current Butterfield-Odin song is based on the Minnesota Rouser.
So it’s going to be, ‘St. James Area hats off to thee....’, or something like that. Actually, the new combined lyrics are under development.
Northside Principal Karla Beck said the Minnesota Rouser is much easier for people to sing.
Board member Tammy Stevens said she had quizzed several students, especially the seniors, on the lyrics of the current song, but most people could not sing the complete song.
No person at the meeting seemed able to say how long the current fight song had been in place, and Board Chairman Bill Brown indicated there was an even earlier change in the school fight song in the 1970s.
Board members discussed how cordial the process of developing the pairing agreement between the two school boards had been.
Butterfield-Odin Superintendent Lisa Shellum attended the meeting and was very positive about the sports pairing. She described the pairing discussion of the Board meeting as, ‘a fun night’, and she said it was wonderful to see (Butterfield-Odin) kids excited about sports.
It is likely the pairing agreement will not have a big financial impact on the St. James District athletic teams. The colors and uniforms essentially remain the same. Changes to the uniforms can be worked in gradually.
The agreement covers all sports and the Knowledge Bowl team. Danceline is not listed under the activities in the agreement. Other activities can be added to the agreement.
Page 2 of 2 - It was mentioned that St. James will host almost all of the athletic events. Expenses for the programs will be divided on a per participation formula.
As openings arise, coaching positions will be posted in both school systems. Final approval of all coaching vacancies will be made by the St. James School Board.
Both districts will share the cost for the Activities Director’s expense on a per participant formula.
A pairing committee will consist of three members of each school board, the Superintendents of each District, Principals, and the Activities Director.
(Additional news on the School Board meeting is on page 2.)