by: Matt Sharp, KTLO
Three local high school athletic programs will be combined to form one new team for the upcoming school year. The Ozark Mountain School Board recently voted to put the Bruno-Pyatt Patriots, St. Joe Wildcats and Western Grove Warriors together and become the Ozark Mountain Bears for basketball, baseball, softball and track.
When the talks began, the board originally considered combining Bruno-Pyatt and St. Joe, before agreeing to add Western Grove to the mix. Ozark Mountain Superintendent Kerry Saylors says the decision was made due to the small class sizes at Bruno-Pyatt and St. Joe.
The Bears nickname was chosen, after a pair of student body elections. The teams’ colors will be blue and grey, and new basketball uniforms have been ordered.
While the teams will be combined, all three campuses will run separately for academic purposes. As that continues, the district will rotate venues for practices and home games. Last week, the high school and junior high boys practiced at the Bruno-Pyatt campus in Eros, and the girls were at St. Joe. This week, the girls will be at Eros, and the boys will head to Western Grove. Student athletes need to have their own mode of transportation due to the pandemic. But when school starts, they will be bused from one campus to another.
The complete story including an interview with Kerry Saylors can be found on the KTLO Website.