A move to oust St. Thomas Academy from the Classic Suburban Conference is on hold, at least temporarily.
The conference activities directors voted 6-2 on Monday to remove the Mendota Heights private school, which has been dominant in football and boys’ hockey.
But conference executive secretary Peter Veldman said Tuesday that the conference discovered it must first amend its constitution and create procedures for removing a team from the conference.
Veldman did not offer a timetable, but said the conference hopes to amend its constitution as soon as possible.
Once those procedures are in place, St. Thomas Academy would be out of the conference for the 2014-15 school year. Veldman said activities directors voted to remove the all-boys’ school because demographics among schools have changed.
Directors also discussed the possibility of disbanding the conference. One school abstained in the vote to remove St. Thomas Academy.
“St. Thomas is a wonderful school but they don’t have the same face [as other conference schools],” Veldman said. “They don’t have students on free and reduced lunch. They don’t have special education students. St. Thomas has known this could be coming. It’s easier than dissolving the entire conference.”
St. Thomas Academy does not plan to appeal the vote to remove it, said school activities director Jack Zahr. It is making plans to apply for membership to two conferences, as required by Minnesota State High School League guidelines.
Zahr said the vote “was not a great surprise. We thought the conference would disband.”
St. Thomas has won three consecutive Class 1A boys’ hockey championships and recently announced it will move up to Class 2A next season. It has won five state hockey titles in eight years. The school’s football team has been to the state tournament eight times since 2000.
The school, with an enrollment of about 550 students, also has enjoyed state meet success in recent years in swimming and Alpine skiing.
Zahr said the Cadets have “tried to be good members of the conference. Yes, we have had success, but we’ve worked hard for that success.”