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The 32 football programs in the newly created Class 6A now have a map for plotting their course to a state championship.
On Tuesday, the Minnesota State High School League Board of Directors unanimously approved a playoff format for Class 6A beginning in 2012.
The 32 teams are divided into four sections, and the section quarterfinals will feature the No. 1 seeded team playing the No. 8 seeds, 2 vs. 7 and so on
Next, the four remaining teams in each section will square off in predetermined section crossover games.
The eight winning teams will then be the state tournament field, and those teams will be seeded 1-4 by coaches’ votes. The remaining four teams will be selected by blind draw.
The section lineups look like this:
SECTION 3: Burnsville, Eagan, Eastview, Lakeville North, Lakeville South, Park, Prior Lake, Rosemount.
SECTION 4: Cretin-Derham Hall, Forest Lake, Mounds View, North St. Paul, Roseville, Stillwater, White Bear Lake, Woodbury.
SECTION 5: Anoka, Blaine, Brainerd, Centennial, Champlin Park, Coon Rapids, Maple Grove, Osseo.
SECTION 6: Armstrong, Eden Prairie, Edina, Hopkins, Minneapolis South, Minnetonka, Shakopee, Wayzata.
There is a Pandora’s Box element to the new format. In every other team sport, a section with several top teams could produce only one state qualifier. Not so now in football. The new format allows, for example, Section 6 heavyweights Eden Prairie, Minnetonka and Wayzata to all reach the state tournament.
So will other sports petition for a new playoff format?
The full release, written by MSHSL Media Specialist John Millea, is below.
DEERWOOD -- The MSHSL Board of Directors held its August meeting at Ruttger’s Conference Center here Tuesday, and football grabbed the headline.
During a meeting that contained plenty of boilerplate board material, the members voted unanimously to approve a playoff format for Class 6A football. The new division will begin play in 2012.
The 32 Class 6A teams will be split into four sections, with eight teams in each section. (Sections are listed below.) For the first round of playoffs, each section will seed its teams 1 through 8. After the first round of games have been played, the four winning teams from each section will be matched with the top four from a different section by random draw; higher seeds will play lower seeds, with higher seeds being the home team.
Those section-to-section pairings will rotate every two years. After two rounds of games, eight teams will advance to the state quarterfinals and be seeded under the current format, with coaches voting to seed the top four teams and a blind draw deciding their opponents from the remaining four.
The 6A state quarterfinals will be played under the same timetable as quarterfinals in other classes. The 6A state semifinals will be played at the Metrodome on the Thursday evening prior to the traditional Friday-Saturday semifinals.
The 6A championship game will be played on Friday night of Prep Bowl weekend.
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
Add another honor to the growing list of awards won by Apple Valley senior wrestler Destin McCauley.
McCauley, who completed a perfect senior year with a 49-0 record, winning the Class 3A 152-pound championship and helping the Eagles to their sixth consecutive Class 3A championship and the consensus National Championship, was named the National Wrestling Coaches Association Senior Wrestler of the Year.
McCauley completed his career as the winningest high school wrestler in Minnesota history, compiling a 286-7 record and 195 pins. He will wrestle at Wisconsin in 2012 after taking a year to train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Fifty-three female student athletes were honored Friday at the Minneapolis Athena Awards banquet in downtown Minneapolis. Here is Part II of the list of winners, along with their school and picture. The other half was on Part I.
Fifty-three female student athletes were honored Friday at the Minneapolis Athena Awards banquet in downtown Minneapolis. Here is Part I of the list of winners, along with their school and picture. The other half will be on Part II.
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