MSHSL adopts plan for football playoffs

BROOKLYN CENTER – On Monday, the Minnesota State High School LeagueLeague Board of Directors unanimously adopted a plan that places all member schools with football programs into Districts.

The members of each district will divide the district into sub-districts, and then create a full schedule for each team. In nearly all cases the placement of schools will not negatively affect traditional rivalries or preferred opponents.

For several years MSHSL staff, school administrators and football coaches have sought a solution for schools that have had difficulty filling their regular season football schedule. A committee of coaches, athletic administrators and Board members developed a District Football Scheduling System that was approved by the Board in January. A separate District Placement Committee made up of coaches and administrators worked hard to group schools into districts based on enrollment, geography and like schools, while also considering individual school preferences for maintaining traditional opponents.

“Everyone needs to keep in mind that this is just a step in the process of developing actual schedules for our member schools,” explained Associate Director Kevin Merkle in a press release by the MSHSL in presenting the plan to the Board. “Some districts have a wide range in school enrollment and geography, but once the districts determine their sub-district alignments, most of the enrollment and geographical issues will be solved.”

The recommendation approved by the Board of Directors included:

Placement of all schools in a scheduling district

Final decision on appeals from schools who requested to be placed in 9-Man

Bylaws to guide the work of each district

Allowing limited inter-district play upon approval of the Board of Directors

A plan for the initial meetings for each district that will be lead by members of the District Football Placement Committee.

The 10-member District Football Placement Committee met five times since mid-March to place schools in districts, using enrollment, geography, like schools and current conference membership and current opponents as key criteria. Schools were given the opportunity to provide information to the committee in advance, including three teams that they would like to continue to schedule.

Those requests were reviewed carefully and were met to the extent possible. More than 90 percent of the schools’ requests were met, and a significant majority of schools were placed in a district with most, if not all, of the schools that they now play.

Districts will have initial meetings in the near future to discuss the placements and the next steps in the process. The next major step will be for districts to decide on sub-district alignments. Once that is completed, schedules for the 2015 and 2016 seasons can be developed. The goal is for all schools to have a complete schedule for both years by Nov. 1, 2014.

“We are indebted to the members of the District Football Placement Committee for their diligence and hard work in this process,” Merkle told the Board, “They put in an extraordinary amount of time and effort and their focus was always on doing what was best for our member schools and their students.”

The following is a list of schools in The Journal’s coverage area and the districts they have been assigned to. For the complete list, go to:

District: South Central

Albert Lea High School

Belle Plaine H.S.

Blue Earth Area High School

Fairmont High School

G-F-W High School

Jackson County Central

Jordan High School

Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial

Lester Prairie \ Holy Trinity

LeSueur-Henderson High School

Luverne High School

Maple River High School

Marshall High School

Martin County West H.S.

Mayer Lutheran High School

New Richland-H-E-G H.S.

New Ulm High School

Norwood-Young America

Pipestone Area High School

Redwood Valley High School

Saint James Area

Sibley East High School

St. Peter High School

Tri-City United High School

Waseca High School


Windom Area High School

Worthington High School

District: Southwest

Adrian High School

Canby High School

Cedar Mountain/Comfrey

Dawson-Boyd High School

Lac qui Parle Valley High School

Lakeview High School


Minnesota Valley Lutheran

Murray County Central

New Ulm Cathedral

Ortonville High School

Red Rock Central High School


Sleepy Eye High School

Sleepy Eye Saint Mary’s

Springfield High School


Wabasso High School

District: 9 – West

Ada-Borup High School

Ashby H.S.

Bertha-Hewitt High School

Brandon-Evansville High School

Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart

Cass Lake-Bena High School

Clearbrook-Gonvick High School

Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley H.S.


Hancock High School

Hillcrest Lutheran Academy

Kittson County Central

MACCRAY High School

NCE/UH Titans

Norman County West

Northern Freeze

Park Christian High School

Renville County West

Rothsay High School

Stephen-Argyle Central

Underwood High School

Verndale High School


Waubun High School

Wheaton Herman Norcross

Win-E-Mac High School

District: 9 – South

Alden-Conger High School

Cleveland High School


Fulda High School


Glenville-Emmons High School

Grand Meadow High School

Hills-Beaver Creek High School

Houston High School

Lanesboro High School

LeRoy-Ostrander High School


Mabel-Canton High School

Madelia High School

Mountain Lake Area

Nicollet High School

Randolph High School

Southwest Star Concept H. S.

Spring Grove H.S.

West Lutheran High School

Westbrook-Walnut Grove

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