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Posted by Guest (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/5/2013 10:34:29 AM

The Metro West Conference will align mid-size high schools from the Twin Cities west and south metro beginning in 2014. The conference currently includes seven high schools: Chaska and Chanhassen High Schools, Bloomington Jefferson and Bloomington Kennedy High Schools, Richfield High School, Robbinsdale Cooper High School and St. Louis Park High School. Applications are being accepted for high schools that wish to join. The conference will offer a full complement of Minnesota State High School League-sponsored activities and athletics.

“Chanhassen High School opened in 2009 and we doubled the opportunities for the students who live in our school district,” said Dick Ungar, Athletic Director of Chanhassen High School. “Chaska and Chanhassen are like Goldilocks, not too big and not too small. This is a chance to unite with other high schools very similar to us.”

Eastern Carver County Schools first explored creation of a new athletic conference during the 2011-12 school year. The district sought to create a conference based on several factors: enrollment size, athletic and activity programming and philosophy, level of competition and proximity. The district sought out high schools, including the current members, that would best match these criteria.

“Getting the right mix of schools is important,” said Chaska High School Athletic Director Troy Stein. “Some of the best competitive experiences come from knowing you’re evenly matched with your opponent.” High schools in the new conference offer similar athletics along with activities like one-act play, speech, debate and choral competitions.

“Minnesota State High School League events in fine arts are a showcase for some incredible talents in music, theater, forensics, and more,” said Jim Swearingen, Activities Director for Chanhassen High School who coordinates fine arts events. “Partnering with schools that share our philosophy and our size gives our kids the opportunity to improve their skills.”

Location was a factor in forming this conference. “We’ve heard from families who feel like our district is part of the metro area rather than southeastern Minnesota,” said Stein. Chanhassen and Chaska High Schools are current members of the Missota Conference.

A key aspect of Metro West Conference is the balance of competition. “As a group of athletic directors, we are thrilled that member schools will have a fighting chance in nearly every sport and activity,” said Ungar. “We’re in this to give our students a chance to compete at their full potential, and that is central to our planning.”

The conference also seeks applications for an executive secretary. Students will be invited to participate in a logo contest. Applications and documents are available at Eastern Carver County Schools’ website, www.district112.org.

Members of the Metro West Conference and their 2012-13 enrollments are:
• Chaska (1,210)
• Chanhassen (1,515)
• Bloomington Jefferson (1,723)
• Bloomington Kennedy (1,559)
• Robbinsdale Cooper (1,916)
• Richfield (1,155)
• St. Louis Park (1,370)


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