IONE- Arlington will join forces with Ione this fall to play high school football.

Arlington only had a half dozen students try out for their team, said Athletic Director Joel Woodley. After discussing the move with students and coaches, four of them will play as Ione Cardinals this season.

"It's really about helping the kids," Woodley said. "The kids wouldn't have had the opportunity if Ione hadn't opened the doors."

In an emergency meeting called to discus the issue, the Ione School Board voted unanimously to allow Arlington students to play, bumping up the total number of players to just over 20.

"The logistics of this just worked out," said Ione Principal and Superintendent Bryn Browning. Both Ione and Arlington play in the Big Sky league and three of the Arlington players live near the boundary line with the Ione district.

Having a cooperative team with another small school is nothing new for Arlington or Ione, who both participate in other co-op sports programs in the area.

"It's pretty common with small schools," Woodley said. "It's fairly typical."

In past seasons, Arlington has combined with Condon students for baseball, but this will be the first joint experience between the two for football.

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