VICKSBURG (Mississippi News Now & AP) - St. Aloysius has decided to leave the Mississippi High School Activities Association.
The school was accepted Tuesday night into the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools. The announcement came a week after the MHSAA's executive committee voted to uphold a rule banning out-of-state students from participating in athletics.
I interviewed St. Aloysius principal Buddy Strickland by phone on Wednesday. He said the decision to head to MAIS was not an easy one to make.
"We, as a school have an obligation to every parent who sends a child to school here, to assure those families that their child has unfettered access in the right to participate in every activity in our school. It's bittersweet leaving. We've been a part of that organization since its inception, and making a decision to leave was not easy. We've had some great relationships with them. I think we've been good partners. And we leave with no animosity, no anger, no rancor, and there will be common ground in the future where their interests and our interests coincide. And we want to be viable partners to work with any organization on behalf of young people in this state."
St. Aloysius will be classified in MAIS AAA in a division with Riverfield Academy, Manchester Academy, Hartfield Academy, Central Hinds Academy and Park Place Christian Academy.
The school and the MAIS will meet Friday in Pearl to work out scheduling and other transitional issues.
The MAIS board also approved membership for Natchez Cathedral and Greenville-St. Joseph.
Those moves are pending before Bishop Joseph R. Kopacz of Catholic Diocese of Jackson. Kopacz approved the St. Aloysius move.
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