BUTTE- The Butte Central Maroons and the Anaconda Copperheads are exploring the possibility of forgoing a longtime rivalry and combining their football teams.

Anaconda Superintendent Justin Barnes said the possible co-op team is in its "infant stage." Barnes said he was approached by Butte Central Superintendent Don Peoples Jr. in December with the proposal.

Barnes said the Butte Central superintendent proposed the idea due to football team enrollment numbers being down at both schools.

Barnes says in the past few years, the schools have seen a decrease in football players due to concussions.

School officials hope combining teams would be a way to get enrollment numbers back up.

Many questions remain to be addressed, such as the location of the home field, a practice schedule, Homecoming and much more, Barnes said.

The schools would have to apply as a co-op with the Montana High School Association by Feb. 1.

Barnes said the co-op team proposal will not be pushed forward if the community is opposed to it.

The Anaconda public school district will host a public meeting to discuss the proposal Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. in the Little Theater at Anaconda High School.

Butte Central High will also be hosting a meeting for students and parents Wed., Jan. 9 at 5:15 p.m. at the high school auditorium.

Barnes said he knows the community will have a lot of questions about the proposal and the school district wants community input.

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