Eden Prairie and Wayzata, two of the top (if not the top two) big-school football programs in the state, will compete in the same section of the newly created Class 6A starting in 2012, the Minnesota High School League revealed today at a league board meeting.
The MSHSL added Class 6A at a meeting in April. It will consist of the 32 large-school teams, including Cretin-Derham Hall, which opted up to play in the largest class. Eden Prairie, Wayzata and Minnetonka -- winners of six of the past seven state titles in Class 5A, previously the biggest class -- are all in Section 6, Class 6A.
But they aren’t necessarily on a playoff collision course.
The MSHSL board will revisit and possibly vote on the playoff format structure in August. The most likely scenario will have each team playing one game in their assigned section, followed by a crossover game against a team from another section. The eight remaining teams would then be seeded in the state tournament quarterfinals.
“The task force is leaning toward that right now as a recommendation,” said Kevin Merkle, MSHSL board member and head of the football task force. Merkle added that no similar plans are being made for other classes but coaches in those classes can come forward with recommendations.
The new class will have four sections consisting of eight teams each. Section 5, containing Brainerd, Blaine and Champlin Park, also looks formidable.
Also of note: Totino-Grace, which opted up to Class 5A, will be in Section 4 along with Andover and Mahtomedi.
For a complete list of new sections for 2012, click here.
-- David La Vaque