By John Millea

No surprise here, but nine Lake Conference schools have all notified their fellow league members that they plan to withdraw from the Lake at the conclusion of the 2009-10 school year. Today was the deadline for those intents to be made known in order for the nine schools (plus Prior Lake from the Missota) to begin play in the new South Suburban Conference in 2010-11.

The nine schools are Apple Valley, Eastview, Eagan, Rosemount, Burnsville, Lakeville North, Lakeville South, Bloomington Kennedy and Bloomington Jefferson. Their departure leaves Eden Prairie standing alone ... with Edina, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Wayzata of the Classic Lake. That league will dissolve at the end of the school year and those five schools will form up in 2010.

As noted in an earlier post today, MSHSL executive director Dave Stead hopes to meet with administrators from the nine schools. His goal is to find another way to move forward without the massive planned Lake changes. But after talking with the chairman of the Lake executive board this afternoon, that seems unlikely unless the MSHSL amends it plan to place the four Classic Lake schools into the Lake.

"I think conferences should be made up of schools who decide they want to play together with each other," said Bloomington Jefferson principal Steve Hill. "Schools should have the right to make that decision, not have it be imposed on them by a third party.

"It seems like if they are set on their decision they made with the placement process, if that’s what Dave Stead thinks is the right thing to do, that’s not helpful," Hill said. "I mentioned, as a representative from the Lake Conference, that if all four schools were placed in the Lake, it would most likely lead to disbanding or shuffling or schools leaving the Lake Conference. Everyone should have known up front that this could happen. We feel very strongly that Minnesota has been a strong advocate of local control. We’re not state-run, we’re locally controlled by local school boards."
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