SAYRE, Pa. (WETM) — Tensions were high during a Sayre School Board meeting that determined the future of the school’s varsity football program.

During the meeting on August 4, many parents were outraged that their children may not be able to participate in varsity football this year. As a result, the school’s band and cheerleading team are also impacted by this decision. The original motion on the agenda was for Sayre to only field junior varsity and junior high teams for 2022. However, parents said this was an issue that could have been addressed sooner.

“I brought it up January 17th,” said one parent during the meeting. “And I was dismissed. I’m glad you got teachers, but you dismissed that I said we were not going to have a football team”

Later, the School Board unanimously voted on another motion that was made. The school will ask their rivals, Athens Area High School, to agree to a co-op in football. This request to form a co-op would be a two-year deal.

Kevin Gorman, the head football coach at Sayre High School, said he is comfortable with what the School Board decided.

“Asking Athens to co-op is fine,” said Gorman. “Obviously if they decide against it, then that is their decision and that is perfectly fine too. What we need is we need numbers. We are not getting kids for many sports. I think it’s across the board, not just to Sayre, I think it’s all over.”

Joey Van Allen, a senior on Sayre’s football team, said it is brutal to lose this opportunity after looking forward to it.

“If they give us another option to play football for senior year, then it is what it is,” said Van Allen. “If it is a different color jersey, if it is a different school, I mean football is football. We all just want to play a senior season.”

The Sayre School Board made another motion during the meeting as a backup plan. If Athens Area High School does not agree to a co-op with Sayre, they would go back to only having a junior varsity and junior high team for this year. The full School Board meeting can be viewed here.