Realignment of the Metro District, home to 28 of the schools playing Class 6A football, brought scheduling relief to some schools while others look headed for continued struggles with appropriate postseason seeding.
Representatives from all 28 schools met Dec. 20 at Burnsville High School. Coordinators for the Metro’s four subdistricts presented them with three proposals, all of which balanced out the subdistricts to four groups of seven teams.
Option 3 passed. Notable changes as a result included Prior Lake and St. Michael-Albertville joining the West subdistrict and Maple Grove leaving the West for the North subdistrict.
Of their eight regular season games, teams will schedule six of their subdistrict opponents. Based on the past two seasons of section alignments, that means the North, East and South teams could play the bulk of the teams in their playoff section.
Not so in the West, which includes teams that have been placed in Section 6 (Eden Prairie, Edina, Minnetonka, Shakopee and Wayzata) plus Section 3 (Prior Lake) and Section 5 (St. Michael-Albertville).
The next two seasons of section alignments won’t be decided by the Minnesota State High School League until March or April. So teams will know for certain in the spring whether their subdistrict placement and playoff section align.
For those that do, postseason seeding will better reflect how teams fared against common opponents.
Prior Lake activities director Russ Reetz was among several activities directors who weren’t satisfied with their subdistrict placement compromised for the greater good.
Teams seeking lighter schedules received priority in the way the subdistrict coordinators set up the crossover games. Reetz said two programs struggling with participation numbers and Friday night results -- Anoka (1-8 last season) and Eagan (0-9) -- get first choice of crossover opponents. Other matchups will be determined by random draw.
“The most important thing these 28 activities directors did was look at how we can help save programs in 6A,” Reetz said. “Because there are definite have and have-nots. Helping those programs recruit their own athletes out for football is important.”
Reetz said the subdistrict coordinators remain hopeful the high school league will align the sections with the subdistricts to ensure seeding continuity.
The coordinators previously sought the league’s help to solve a subdistrict scheduling impasse. But the board approved a motion at the Dec. 6 meeting to put the matter back in the coordinators’ hands.