ST. CLOUD - The St. Cloud area school board has approved a Tech and Apollo boys hockey co-op.

Both teams will be combined into one class AA team, which will be in effect for at least two years. The board agreed to the co-op unanimously during their Thursday night meeting.

Apollo didn't have enough returning players to support the hockey program next year. The Eagles had 15 seniors on the team, one junior, four sophomores and two freshmen last season. Tech has eight seniors, 16 juniors and six sophomores returning for the 2016-2017 season.

The hope will be to separate the teams again after the two years, when Apollo is expected to have more players available.

Tech and Apollo activities directors Andrea Swanberg and Dave Langerud both discussed the topic to the board briefly before the motion was approved. Swanberg says the next big steps are finding places for the team to practice/play, who the head coach will be and what the uniforms will look like.

"We'll now have discussion on where we will play and who's going to coach, we have two very good coaches in our program so we need to make that decision," Swanberg says.

A full schedule has already been completed for the team next year. During the meeting, Langerud said that many parents and players reached out to him over the past few weeks in support of the decision and need to merge the two teams.