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Classic Suburban Conference decides instead to dissolve

  • Article by: DAVID LA VAQUE
  • Star Tribune
  • May 16, 2013 - 12:00 AM

 

Classic Suburban Conference activities directors voted unanimously Wednesday to dissolve their nine-school partnership after the 2013-14 school year.

The decision comes only a month after member schools voted 6-2 to oust St. Thomas Academy, then held off after discovering that procedures for removing a team from the conference had to be amended.

Activities directors approved new language Wednesday, then discussed the plan to dissolve. They voted 8-0, with Richfield abstaining, since the school plans to join the new Metro West Conference in 2014.

“We said, ‘We’re all going different directions so let’s just disband,’ ” Hill-Murray activities director Bill Lechner said. “[Hill-Murray] didn’t want it, but there is no sense fighting it. We’ll deal with it.”

The Classic Suburban, comprised of first-ring suburban schools primarily in the southeastern metro area, joined the Missota and North Suburban in deciding to dissolve for geographical and competitive reasons.

Changing demographics within the six public schools in the Classic Suburban was a motivation to remove St. Thomas Academy, an all-male private school, conference executive secretary Pete Veldman said.

“Jack Zahr, the St. Thomas activities director, told me, ‘Pete, we haven’t changed,’ ” Veldman said. “But the public schools have — big time.”

Veldman said plans for the schools will be discussed in two to three weeks. One possibility is forming a new conference with many of the current Classic Suburban schools, he said. The nine schools in the conference next year are Henry Sibley, Hill-Murray, Mahtomedi, North St. Paul, Richfield, St. Thomas Academy, Simley, South St. Paul and Tartan.

Despite past attempts to enlist the North Suburban as a scheduling partner, there is no plan to form a new conference with some of those schools, Veldman said. The six schools remaining in the North Suburban next year are Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Columbia Heights, Fridley, Irondale, Spring Lake Park and Totino-Grace.

Three of those schools, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Spring Lake Park and Totino-Grace, previously applied for membership in the Classic Suburban and were rejected. Schools must apply to, and be rejected by, two conferences before the Minnesota High School League will place them in a conference.

 

David La Vaque • 612-673-7574

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