CMB goes MAD

At the end of a summer that saw both softball and baseball state qualifiers from Collins-Maxwell-Baxter, a three-decade sports relationship has been severed.

Baxter voted unanimously to end the sports sharing agreement after the upcoming school year, report WHO and the Newton Daily News. This follows months of bitter talks about moving into whole-grade sharing, which Collins-Maxwell rejected when it became clear Baxter would have the high school.

The decision to end the partnership, in my opinion, is likely to end with both districts suffering (hence the “mutual assured destruction” in the headline). Each district separately has a BEDS number just above 100, meaning they’re too big for 8-man football and extremely small for 11, and rosters for other sports will be short. The decision to end the partnership in summer 2017 instead of 2018 also throws football schedules into disarray. One or the other has to come up with its new team names and uniforms (or call back what they had in the early ’80s) — or seek sports sharing arrangements with a different school.

Baxter is one of the very few rural districts in Iowa that had higher enrollment in 2015 than in 2001. The CMB area is in a bind because many surrounding districts are bigger enrollment-wise. I can’t imagine Ballard, which C-M will be sharing a superintendent with, giving terms as favorable as any Baxter had to offer, and even if they were, the shared history won’t be there.

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