St. Louis Park High School will say goodbye to the North Suburban Conference and hello to the new Metro West Conference in 2014.
St. Louis Park will join the two Bloomington schools, Jefferson and Kennedy, Richfield, Cooper, Chaska and Chanhassen in a new conference that begins competition in the fall of 2014.
There could also be other schools added to the initial seven prior to the inaugural season.
The idea was conceived by the Eastern Carver County School District, where Chaska and Chanhassen are currently members of the Missota Conference. They looked to find schools that were close and would have more competitive balance.
For St. Louis Park, it would revive rivalries with the Bloomington schools, Richfield and Cooper, who were part of various Lake Conference incarnations. This would also be the end of its city rivalry with Benilde-St. Margaret's School.
Jefferson and Kennedy would leave the South Suburban Conference, with Farmington to join in 2014. Chaska and Chanhassen would also exit the Missota, which will be down to Northfield, Red Wing, New Prague, Shakopee and Holy Angels.
What would happen to the Missota Conference? Would the remaining members stick it out or will other conferences beckon them? As for Holy Angels, the Metro West would be a good geogaphical fit for the Richfield private school. It would definitely cut down on bus travel.
As for the North Suburban Conference, it will be down to eight teams next season with the departure of St. Francis, North Branch and Chisago Lakes, except for football where Totino-Grace plays in the Northwest Suburban Conference. The number changes to six next season when St. Louis Park and Cooper leave.
What about Benilde-St. Margarets? There have been many successful athletic programs at the St. Louis Park school that has been dominating the North Suburban for years. Will they stay in the North Suburban or consider joining the Metro West. Or should they go the route of the Duluth East boys hockey team and play an independent schedule. Many BSM athletic teams play tough non conference schedules so this could be a viable option.
The fall of 2014 in Twin Cities high school sports could be "The Year of the Conference Shake Up."