1 Year 1 and only: The six schools that make up the brand new IMAC — Blake, Breck, Minnehaha Academy, Mounds Park Academy, Providence Academy and St. Paul Academy — broke away from their longtime home in the Tri-Metro Conference last year when the Minnesota State High School League placed three new schools in that league. The IMAC teams’ stated reason for leaving was to achieve independence for their scheduling needs while maintaining a working relationship with schools of similar size and demographics. Like all of the other new conferences, however, this is just a one-year blip on the football scene until district scheduling begins in 2015.


2 Back off the mat: Providence Academy established itself as a consistent winner, ­compiling a 33-8 record in five seasons before slipping to 4-5 last year as Derek Asche moved into the head coaching position. With 19 starters back, led by RB/LB Ryan Richelsen and QB Henry Van Dellen, the Lions look poised to get back to their winning ways and prove that 2013 was just a hiccup.


3 Come one, come all: St. Paul Academy has long had a cooperative with Mounds Park Academy for football. This year, that co-op grows to encompass three charter schools — Great River School, Twin Cities Academy and Nova Classical. The mass grouping has facilitated a name change for the program. The co-op is now known simply as the Academy Spartans.