There's been a tremendous amount of shifting around of conferences from north and northwest of the metro area up and out toward Willmar, Buffalo and St. Cloud. And way not? There's been lots of population growth, lot of schools with growing enrollments, lots of needs for new, fairer rivalries. And then as soon as a former small town Class A type of school gets settled into a Class AA type of setting, then suddenly it's AAA and then AAAA. Just ask Buffalo and St. Michael-Albertville for two.
There are 4 Class AAAA schools in the area, outside the metro but closer in than St. Cloud.
Buffalo enrollment 1,626 boys W-L (last 8 years) 159-45 girls 128-90 total 287 wins
Cambridge-Isanti 1,367 boys 110-114 girls 137-84 total 247 wins
Elk River 1,570 boys 131-96 girls 107-118 238 wins
St. Michael-Albertville 1,314 boys 151-68 girls 173-59 324 wins
3 are now in the Mississippi 8, but the Mississippi 8 may be in trouble, having dropped from 8 to 6 schools recently. Elk River is the only school outside the official 7-county metro in the Northwest Suburban. Also in the Mississippi 8 is one school that is in the metro.
Rogers 1,161 boys 112-122 girls 154-80 266 wins
Mississippi 8 Class AAA
The other 2 Mississippi 8 schools, frankly, don't belong playing the likes of Buffalo and St. Michael.
Big Lake 857 boys 101-117 girls 103-111 204 wins
Monticello 1,087 boys 115-107 girls 84-130 199 wins
It looks to me like the future of Buffalo, Cambridge and St. Michael will be to join a conference with north metro teams. Not at all sure where Big Lake and Monticello are going to fit in, though Wright County and Granite Ridge schools are the obvious candidates.
Wright County Class AAA
Orono 876 boys 140-83 girls 148-71 288 wins
Delano 735 boys 116-90 girls 74-128 190 wins
Mound 644 boys 58-146 girls 58-151 116 wins
Dassel-Cokato 557 boys 34-164 girls 66-132 100 wins
Hutchinson and Waconia are also AAA but I've already allocated them to my Fantasy Southwest and Big 9 conferences.
Granite Ridge Class AAA
Princeton 925 boys 105-119 girls 96-116 201 wins
Becker 722 boys 67-149 girls 142-81 209 wins
Zimmerman 546 boys 107-118 girls 69-138 176 wins
Little Falls is AAAA but I've sent them back to the Central Lakes where they belong.
Other North of Metro Class AAA
Chisago Lakes 1,057 boys 81-139 girls 109-110 190 wins
North Branch 945 boys 65-151 girls 119-107 184 wins
They're both in the North Suburban. Is it a coincidence that their boys finish dead last and next to last in 2012? Do they need a change of scenery? It looks like a long long way from Chisago to Mound and Orono but on the other hand, they play Benilde and Cooper and St. Louis Park in the North Suburban.
A New Class AAAA Conference
You've got to combine your northerly non-metro Class AAAA schools with some metro schools. Here's where I end up:
Buffalo 1,626 enrollment and 287 wins
Andover 1,614 from the Northwest Suburban
Elk River 1,570 and 238 wins from the Northwest Suburban
St. Francis 1,504 from the North Suburban
Park Center 1,471 from the Northwest Suburban
Cooper 1,408 from the North Suburban
Cambridge-Isanti 1,368 and 247 wins from the Mississippi 8
Irondale 1,355 from the North Suburban
St. Michael-Albertville 1,314 and 324 wins
Rogers 1,161 and 266 wins from the Mississippi 8 (Class AAAA)
North Suburban (mostly Class AAA)
St. Louis Park 1,178 (Class AAAA)
Spring Lake Park 1,135
Chisago Lakes 1,078
North Branch 945
Benilde-St. Margaret's 930
DeLaSalle 544 from the Tri-Metro
The North Suburban loses it largest members St. Francis, Cooper, Irondale and its smallest member Columbia Heights (Class AA) and gains DeLaSalle to go from 11 members to 8.
The Northwest Suburban gives up its 3 smallest members and drops from 11 to 8.
A New Class AAA Conference
Monticello 1,087 and 199 wins from the Mississippi 8
Princeton 925 and 201 from the Granite Ridge
Orono 876 and 288 from Wright County
Big Lake 857 and 204 from the Mississippi 8
Delano 735 and 190 from Wright County
Becker 722 and 209 from the Granite Ridge
Mound 644 and 116 from Wright County
Zimmerman 546 and 176 from Granite Ridge
Dassel-Cokato would fit in this conference but not very well with 557 enrollment and only 100 wins, both boys and girls over an 8 year period, an average of only 6 wins per year per team. I would see if I can find a AA conference that they would fit in for now. Actually the Wright County is no longer quite such a wacky group now that I've moved Hutch, Delano, Orono, Mound and Waconia out of it. The remainders are all AA, except struggling Dassel-Cokato:
The New Wright County
Or perhaps the remainder (AA teams) in the Wright County could merge with the Central Minnesota or the West Central Conference...but for now we've taken care of the AAAA and AAA teams from the north of metro area.