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PREP FOOTBALL: MSHSL places all football teams in 18 districts

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PREP FOOTBALL: MSHSL places all football teams in 18 districts
Grand Forks North Dakota 375 2nd Ave. N. 58203

High schools in Minnesota will soon be scheduling games differently.

The Minnesota State High School League adopted a new district system Monday that’s designed to guarantee teams eight regular-season games and alleviate previous issues that schools have encountered in building a full schedule.


The MSHSL outlined 18 districts, which will be broken down into sub-districts. The goal is to have the district system in place by Nov. 1, 2014, so it can be used to dictate schedules for the 2015 season.

Area schools mostly fall into the Midwest, Northwest or 9-man West districts.

East Grand Forks Senior High is in the Midwest along with Thief River Falls, Crookston, Warroad and Roseau, among others.

The Northwest features Badger-Greenbush-Middle River, Bagley, Climax-Fisher, Fertile-Beltrami, Fosston, Mahnomen and Red Lake County, among others.

“It’s a new way of scheduling football after a long, long time studying the issue,” Senior High athletic director Jim Scanlan said. “A lot of teams struggled to come up with a full, eight-game schedule. We had one year where we didn’t get an eight-game schedule. Another year, we were scrambling.”

Scanlan said the system tries to take into account traditional rivals and matchups.

“Our schedule isn’t going to look much different than it has,” he said.

Athletic directors will meet on June 10 to further discuss the plan.

“We’re going to try to make sure that no 4A school will play a 2A,” he said.

The Midwest district has 22 games and will be split into three sub-districts. There are 4A, 3A and 2A teams in the district.

The playoff system will not change. It will continue to use current sections.

“Everyone needs to keep in mind that this is just a step in the process of developing actual schedules for our member schools,” MSHSL associate director Kevin Merkle told the MSHSL Board of Directors. “Some districts have a wide range in school enrollments and geography, but once the districts determine sub-district alignments, most of the enrollment and geographical issues will be solved.”

Brad Elliott Schlossman
Schlossman is in his 11th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2014, he was named one of the top three beat writers in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He has voted in the national college hockey poll since 2007 and has served as a member of the Hobey Baker and Patty Kazmaier Award committees.
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