Section ShakeupMarch 25, 2011
Every two years, the Minnesota High School League evaluates the high school section assigments and, if needed, makes adjustments. For the 2011-2012 season, the league has made some major changes to the Nordic skiing sections. While league lists a number of factors in determining sections, this year it appears to be largely based on grouping based on geography. And it is interesting to note that section assigments can be different depending on sport (some metro schools may have sports ranging across five different sections).
For the 2011-2012 season, here's the shakeup for next season...
Out: Prior Lake
In: Park (Cottage Grove)
Prior Lake has turned out a few top skiers each season, but still retains the usual powers. The loss of Prior Lake should make the section only slighty easier. Winona remains the sole southern team and outly
Out: St. Cloud Tech, St. Cloud Cathedral, St. Cloud Apollo
in: Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Chaska, Chanhassen, Holy Family
Major upheavel here -- The St. Cloud teams move out and in comes to big powers to replace them, Eden Prairie and Minnetonka. The changes will make it a slightly tougher section, especially for those that were riding the bubble for qualifiers in previous seasons.
Out: Patrick Henry
No real change here, Section 3 simply loses one team, which generally hasn't been competitive in the top tier in recent years.
In: Academy for Sciences and Argiculture
The vicious trio has been broken -- Forest Lake and Stillwater will be left to dual for the top spot as Roseville moves out (although they all will continue to compete in the same conference). That definitely makes a little easier for everyone else.
Out: Armstrong, Cooper
In: Roseville, Patrick Henry
While Armstrong has been fielded some top teams in this section, the swap for Roseville changes the landscape significantly. The teams will need to take their training to the next level if they hope to keep Roseville from dominating their new section.
Out: Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Chaska, Chanhassen, Holy Family
In: Prior Lake, Armstrong, Cooper
Wow, what a shake up! Five teams move out, three come in. The loss of Eden Prairie should make the the road to the State Meet a little easier for Hopkins and Minneapolis Southwest.
In: Deer River
Just a minor shuffling, as Deer River gets seeded a little closer to home. The least impacted section (along with section 3).
Out: Deer River
In: St. Cloud Tech, St. Cloud Apollo, St. Cloud Cathedral
This section gets much harder as the St. Cloud teams join the fray. However, most of these teams face off in conference meets, so they should all be aware of the challengers by the time sections roll around.