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A new era: Sumner football will merge with Soldan

Why the old PHL rivals will co-op for the 2019 season, and why administrators and coaches believe it's a good move for students.

ST. LOUIS — Sumner football will merge with Soldan. The decision has been made.

The once prodigious Public High League will be down to six teams for 2019.

The decision to co-op Sumner with Soldan is certainly an emotional one, considering Sumner, a school with a historic football program, remains the only inner-city school in St. Louis with a state football championship.

But coaches and administrators believe that, because of low enrollment and participation, the merger is the best way to ensure a relatively safe game for the kids who still want to play football.

5 On Your Side's Josh Helmuth met with Teron Sharp, SLPS athletic director, Sorrell Harvey, Soldan's head football coach, Rodney Parker, previously Sumner's head football coach (now with Soldan) and Roosevelt Head Coach, Trey Porter (who co-opted with Cleveland last year), to learn more about the decision to merge two of the city's most historic programs in Sumner and Soldan for the 2019 season.