Already faced with losing member schools, the North Suburban Conference is short on scheduling options.
With Chisago Lakes, North Branch and St. Francis moving to the Mississippi 8 Conference in 2013-14, the remaining eight North Suburban schools had hoped to form a scheduling partnership in all sports with the Classic Suburban Conference.
Totino-Grace activities director Mike Smith said those talks "didn't catch on like we had hoped. We had been talking about it for a long time so in our minds it was a good thing. For them it was a new idea, and they are more content where they are than we are."
Next season, the North Suburban will have only six football teams. Columbia Heights, the conference's only Class 3A football team, will again play an independent schedule. Class 5A state champ Totino-Grace will stay with the larger schools in the Northwest Suburban Conference.
In addition, Smith said, as many as three schools are "looking to do something different, and then we're potentially down to five schools in the conference. That's not good."
Smith called the future of the conference the "longest discussion item" at last week's conference activities directors meeting. The group hopes to have a plan in place by Sept. 1.
"After next year, almost everyone you ask will shrug their shoulders and tell you they are not sure what's going to happen," Smith said. "We're trying to be proactive, but it's hard. Somebody needs to make that first move and then all the other chips will line up."Pirates pull huge upset
Park Center's boys' basketball moved its record to 4-0 this season by upsetting No. 1 Apple Valley and junior guard Tyus Jones last weekend in the Breakdown Tip-Off Classic.
The 72-70 victory brought the No. 7 Pirates instant credibility. Coach Bo Powell is reminding players that one signature victory does not a season make.
"The guys played hard, played smart and played together," Powell wrote in an e-mail. "I told them, 'This game can't define your season. You need to come and play all season long with that type of passion, and we will have a chance to be good.'"Centennial takes title
Centennial's wrestling team won the Andover tournament last weekend, showing poise and drive that coach John Bergeland values as much as winning a second title in a row.
"What we were most pleased by was the way our kids came back when they were behind after the first period. Pretty much everyone came back from early deficits or wrestled stronger throughout the day."
Mike Mischke (113 pounds) won his second consecutive Andover tourney title. Justice Davis (220) and Andrew Gustafson (heavyweight) also topped their weight classes.
The Cougars piled up 225 points, 32 more than runner-up Glencoe-Silver Lake.
David La Vaque • 612-673-7574