The Metro West Conference, which begins play next year, is fighting the Minnesota State High School League's placement of the private school. Metro West schools say the Red Knights fit best in the high-powered Lake Conference.
A Twin Cities athletic conference that hasn’t started competing yet is trying to block another school from joining it.
The Metro West Conference, which begins play in 2014-15, said Tuesday that it is appealing a decision by the Minnesota State High School League to assign Benilde-St. Margaret’s to the conference. The new conference, including seven schools displaced by various dissolving conferences, believes that the Red Knights best fit in the Lake Conference.
The St. Louis Park-based private school has competed in most sports in the North Suburban Conference, which is dissolving. It applied to join the Metro West, Lake and Northwest Suburban conferences, but all three conferences turned it down.
That left the situation with the high school league's placement committee. The league's four criteria for placing a school in a conference are enrollment, geography, conference structure and comparable programs.
The Metro West includes Bloomington Jefferson, Bloomington Kennedy, Chanhassen, Chaska, Cooper, Richfield and St. Louis Park.
Principals from those schools met Tuesday and decided to appeal, said Scott Larson, the conference’s executive secretary. “We believe our reasons for why Benilde-St. Margaret’s is not a good fit have not changed and the principals want to be sure to exhaust all their options.’’
During the league’s placement process, the Metro West submitted data on the numbers of students who speak English as a second language and those receiving free and reduced lunch to show disparities between member schools and Benilde-St. Margaret’s, said Andy Ewald, St. Louis Park activities director.
“We felt strongly about the data we sent to the Minnesota State High School League about why Benilde-St. Margaret’s does not belong with us and why they would be a better fit in the Lake Conference,” Ewald said last week.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s has enjoyed success in boys’ and girls’ soccer and hockey. The boys’ hockey team played an independent schedule last season to avoid the number of lopsided victories against North Suburban Conference teams.
Jerry Pettinger, activities director at Benilde-St. Margaret’s, said last week that his school is “excited to be in the Metro West. The conference set out to give kids the best opportunity to compete and though we recognize the differences in demographics, adding us is a good fit.”
Pettinger said the decision whether to keep the Red Knights boys’ hockey team independent must be made with the input of Metro West schools.
The appeal is expected to be heard by an independent hearing officer chosen by the high school league.
The situation bears partial similarity to the league’s move in 2004 to place Cretin-Derham Hall in the Suburban East Conference. In that case, however, both the conference and the school opposed the move, which also was appealed. The case eventually went back to the league’s placement committee, which reaffirmed its decision.
|Minnesota||12||4th Qtr 5:40|
|Kansas City||45||4th Qtr 4:40|
|Buffalo||6||4th Qtr 11:40|
|Miami||24||4th Qtr 7:51|
|Detroit||20||4th Qtr 6:38|
|Indianapolis||21||4th Qtr 6:49|
|Cleveland||19||4th Qtr 7:25|
|Oakland||20||4th Qtr 3:03|
|Atlanta||21||4th Qtr 0:17|
|St. Louis||3:25 PM|
|NY Giants||3:25 PM|
|Dallas||12/9/13 7:40 PM|
|San Diego||12/12/13 7:25 PM|
|San Jose||5:00 PM|
|Saint Peters||52||2nd Half 3:48|
|Siena||73||2nd Half 2:02|
|Mount Olive||75||2nd Half 0:39|
|Quinnipiac||65||2nd Half 5:51|
|Rhode Island||62||2nd Half 2:04|
|Monmouth||52||2nd Half 6:38|
|Charlotte||72||2nd Half 2:16|
|SW Oklahoma St||55||FINAL|
|San Diego St||21|
|Maryland||7||1st Half 15:59|
|Ark-Pine Bluff||4:00 PM|
|TX-Permian Basin||4:30 PM|
|Jacksonville St||5:00 PM|
|Boston College||6:00 PM|
|Seton Hall||7:00 PM|
|Eastern Wash||7:30 PM|
|(13) Oklahoma State||24|
|(16) Arizona State||14|
|(1) Florida State||45|
|(7) Ohio State||24||FINAL|
|(4) Michigan State||34|
|(21) Fresno State||24|
|Army||12/14/13 2:00 PM|
|(10) Penn State||66||2nd Half 2:08|
|Indiana||74||2nd Half 1:26|
|Jacksonville||31||2nd Half 1:22|
|Duquesne||73||2nd Half 3:36|
|IUPU-Ft Wayne||64||2nd Half 1:56|
|Stony Brook||63||2nd Half 3:28|
|Central Conn St||62||2nd Half 4:53|
|(12) South Carolina||67||2nd Half 3:45|
|Milwaukee||64||2nd Half 1:31|
|Cincinnati||60||2nd Half 7:21|
|Harvard||74||2nd Half 00:01|
|Colorado State||35||1st Half 2:36|
|Cal State Fullerton||14||1st Half 5:25|
|(20) Iowa State||19|
|TX-Pan American||34||1st Half 00:01|
|Stephen F Austin||35||1st Half 2:08|
|North Dakota||31||2nd Half|
|Utah State||34||1st Half 1:24|
|Morgan State||3:00 PM|
|(2) Duke||3:00 PM|
|Long Beach St||3:25 PM|
|Loyola-New Orleans||4:00 PM|
|Santa Clara||4:00 PM|
|Boise State||4:00 PM|