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From the Duluth News-Tribune:
A six-person Minnesota State High School League committee placed Duluth East and Duluth Denfeld in the Mississippi 8 Conference starting in 2012. The Duluth schools previously had applied to — and been rejected by — the Mississippi 8, Central Lakes and Sea-Range conferences, leaving the matter in the hands of the MSHSL.
“Ultimately, it was probably the right choice,” said Duluth Central activities director Tom Pearson, whose school will close at the end of the school year and reopen as Denfeld in 2011-12. “Geographically speaking, I would have loved to be in the Sea-Range, but size-wise it didn’t make any sense. Nobody wanted us, but the committee made a decision that works for our school. We’re used to travel, so that’s not too big of a deal. I think it’s a good fit for us.”
The Mississippi 8 is currently composed of Becker, Big Lake, Buffalo, Cambridge-Isanti, Monticello, Princeton, Rogers, St. Michael-Albertville and Zimmerman in all sports, with the addition of Elk River in football.
Conference shuffling dictated by football is not just a metro area concern.
Duluth Central/Denfeld, Duluth East and Grand Rapids, members of the dissolving North Country Conference, have all had their applications to join new conferences rejected. The Duluth schools applied to the Central Lakes, Mississippi 8 and Sea Range conferences while Grand Rapids applied to the Central Lakes and Sea Range conferences. All three schools are applying for varsity football only. Duluth Central/Denfeld wants to start with a new conference for the 2011 season while Duluth East and Grand Rapids hope to become full-time members of a new conference in 2012.
Since the conference rejected the schools’ applications, the Minnesota State High School League must now make a recommendation for placement. Representatives from the three conferences and schools met Wednesday at the MSHSL headquarters to discuss the positives and negatives of potential placements.
MSHSL executive director Dave Stead said the placement committee will consider the information and make a recommendation for placement next week. The conferences and schools can weigh the MSHSL’s recommendation and have the option to appeal.
As I reported earlier this month, three metro conferences have formed a five-year agreement to assist the five-school Classic Lake in finding non-conference opponents. (The earlier story can be found HERE.)
The Classic Lake, Northwest Suburban and Lake (which will become the South Suburban next fall) issued a formal announcement this morning. The first steps in the agreement will take place this fall, when two teams from the NW Suburban and two from the South Suburban will meet Classic Lake teams in football. Other sports will follow in later years.
All the 2010 football matchups are not set. We do know that Osseo of the NW Suburban will play at Minnetonka of the Classic Lake and Hopkins (Classic Lake) will go to Centennial (NW Suburban). Games between Classic Lake and South Suburban teams have not been decided.
Here's the full announcement:
Representatives of the Northwest Suburban, Lake and Classic Lake conferences today announced an agreement regarding the scheduling of non-conference athletic events over the next five years.
A plan to solve scheduling problems – at least temporarily -- for the Classic Lake Conference schools is expected to be approved next week, with teams from the Northwest Suburban and South Suburban conferences filling non-conference holes in Classic Lake schedules.
The Classic Lake currently has five schools: Armstrong, Edina, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Wayzata. Armstrong will join the Northwest Suburban in the 2010-11 school year; Eden Prairie will take its place in the Classic Lake as most of the current Lake Conference schools form the new Southwest Suburban.
John Millea is on Twitter at twitter.com/stribjohn
By John Millea
If you thought the news about conference realignment and shuffling was going to die down, you better think again.
The latest piece of information is that Hopkins has once again applied for membership in the Northwestern Suburban Conference. The Royals were previously turned down by the Northwest Suburban, as were Edina, Minnetonka and Wayzata; those are the Classic Lake Conference schools that appear poised to join with Eden Prairie in a league alignment for 2010-11.
In case you haven't been keeping up, Eden Prairie will be left hanging in 2010-11 when every other school in the Lake Conferences says adios. Chaska and Chanhassen will be in the Missota in 2010-11 and everyone else (plus Prior Lake of the Missota) in the Lake will form the new South Suburban Conference in 2010-11.
Officials from Hopkins, Edina, Minnetonka, Wayzata and Eden Prairie are obviously not happy to be facing a future in a five-school conference. I don't know that the NW Suburban is open to accepting any of those schools as new members, since they've all been turned down.
This move by Hopkins could be an attempt to set the stage for further moves. And at this point, that's all about we know.
John Millea is on Twitter at twitter.com/stribjohn
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