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Year in Review 2011: High School league votes to add new Class 6A to football playoffs

Taxed with the chore of alleviating football scheduling problems, along with attempting to shrink the enrollment discrepancies between schools in the largest class of the six-class format, in 2011 the Minnesota State High School League voted to add a seventh class in Minnesota high school football.

The new Class 6A, which launches in the 2012-13 school year, will include the 32 largest schools in the state by the MSHSL's enrollment figures.

The change could have the three District 833 public schools competing in different classes. Woodbury would be in the largest class, 6A, Park would be teetering on the bubble between Class 6A and 5A, and East Ridge would be in the second-to-largest class, 5A.

Using the high school league's enrollment numbers for the 2011-12 school year, the largest school in the state is Wayzata with 3,060 students. Woodbury has the largest enrollment of the District 833 schools --?1,715 -- which ranks 27th in the state. East Ridge is in a tie with Bloomington Jefferson for 39th with 1,543 students. Park has the 32nd-highest enrollment, at 1,656 students, which currently makes it the smallest school slated to play football in Class 6A.

"We feel like we have a better chance of competing in the second group than the first group," Park activities director Phil Kuemmel said at the time.

Other schools like Cretin-Derham Hall may choose to opt up to 6A, which could bump Park down to 5A. However, if one or more of the cooperatives programs like at Osseo, Anoka, Minneapolis South or Elk River were to split apart, they could fall below Park's enrollment totals pushing Park back up the list into 6A.

"There's not a lot of schools, I don't think, aside from private schools like Cretin that would make the choice to opt up and play against Wayzata and Eden Prairie," Kuemmel said. "Obviously, we're going to play wherever they put us. If we have to play in that Class 6A we will and we'll see what happens."