It's been a week or so since I've been on here and it surprises me there's only one more page of whining, thought it'd be much more.
What strikes me as so odd about this whole topic is that you have "bashers" (for lack of a better term) who started this thread and have been going on and on putting down teenagers and a school. What has this team/school/fans been doing this whole time? Playing hockey, educating students and answering questions. That's it. And somehow it is "classless" to do that, but pointing fingers and talking down about others isn't?
We have teenagers that go out and play 6 post season games because they love hockey and regardless of what school they are from, they won the JV trophy. In 2007, Hermantown did too, it wasn't any different.
The statement I've made multiple times that is usually agreed with and rarely refuted is that people just want something to complain about. What I'd like to know is: long term, [with the exception of a one class system that won't realistically happen] what solution are you really looking for?
a. One Class
It won't happen, but let's at least talk about it. I don't understand what would be so much better than what we have now. Half as many state games, less teams on display and even less small town feel than we have now.
b. Two Classes, no opting up
I've suggested this and have multiple people on both sides of the discussion. I don't see the down side of it, but apparently in a sport that enrollment admittedly has little to do with talent, the bigger enrollment class is "better" despite many years the big-enrollment finalists being small enrollment schools.
c. Two classes, no opting up, all privates AA
Could Roseau and Cloquet handle playing for the JV tournament? I don't know what would end up happening with hockey in places like Minnehaha/Legacy Christian. It'd be interesting to see.
d. Two classes, opting up, all privates AA
If all private schools were in AA next year, who would be next? I don't pretend to be in any administrations, but I would guess more than zero public school teams would also opt up. Is this what you want?
e. Two classes, bottom 64 in A, co-ops in A, privates in AA
What we have now with a "small town" feel and a 7A vs 8A championship every year.
f. Three class, A, AA, PS
What the article posted suggested.
The article was right; in a sport where money is a huge
factor, private schools [and affluent communities] do well. Does that really surprise anyone? It is affluent areas that do well. Would it surprise anyone to learn that it is mostly big suburbs who dominate alpine skiing, golf, swimming, lacrosse, etc? I doubt it.
Will it stop if we point fingers on a message board? I highly doubt it.
In my opinion, the answer is trying to get numbers up in communities around the state. Starting programs that can get kids into arenas at a young age for a cheaper cost is a great start. Wouldn't it be great if 15 years from now we have 3 great tournaments at the X because we had 200+ high school programs.
The MSHSL seems to be doing in hockey similar to what the NCAA is doing with D1 FBS football. Every poll I've seen show over 90% of people want a different post season in football, yet they do nothing. Same with HS hockey; there is issue on both sides.
Would they make a rule singling out two/three schools? No, but if it was determined to be the intended result, why not call those two or three schools with a statement something like this:
"If you and the other one/two schools getting this letter don't opt up for next year, all private schools will be required to opt up. Ball's in your court."
It would be last on my list of things to do, but it is an entirely possible thing.
Ultimately, I'm just asking what end result people want. It still seems to me like people just want to complain. I'd bet a good deal that if all private schools were in AA and doing well, people would still complain instead of discussing ways to actually fix the problem. Any private schools supporter who wishes the demise of public schools is quite ignorant. We all want public schools doing well with private schools as an alternative for those who'd like to use them.
I understand that "hockey's different" (as every sport is unique from every other), but were we to really have a state tournament that drew fractions of what the Class A tournament does now just so small schools could live this dream seems odd (Class A set attendance records with mostly private schools this year; some people are watching).
Around the country, state tournaments are for the best teams. With the exception many years of the biggest/smallest classes in football, most sports' smallest champion could play with and sometimes beat the biggest champion. I don't pretend to understand the mentality of calling for a worse tournament (quality of play wise) instead of two great ones.
So, I ask:
Not next year, not three years from now, but "10 years from now, how would you envision the perfect MN HS hockey system?"