AURORA (AP) -- Mesabi East and Virginia high school varsity football players will team up this season because not enough students signed up to play at Mesabi East.
Only 18 students signed up to play varsity and junior varsity football for the Giants, a dozen fewer than were needed.
Mesabi East Athletic Director Gene Paulson at first decided the district should discontinue the program. But then he approached the Virginia Blue Devils about a "cooperative sponsorship."
The one-year agreement would allow 11 Mesabi East players to play for Virginia, which currently has 62 junior varsity and varsity players.
The agreement still needs approval from both school boards and the Minnesota State High School League.
"The majority of these kids just want to play football," Paulson said. "They have been very upbeat about this, and are still practicing twice a day."
Mesabi East coach Jim Zupetz admitted the team isn't happy about leaving its school. "But as far as pairing, we couldn't have paired with a better school than Virginia," he said.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.