by Bruce Strand
Elk River Star News
A new district scheduling system adopted by the Minnesota State High School League on May 26 worked out well for the District 728 schools.
Effective in 2015, this arrangement puts Elk River and Rogers in the same district. They will likely have all eight games against nearby schools, such as St. Michael-Albertville and Buffalo.
Zimmerman is placed where its schedule won’t change much from its current Granite Ridge Conference setup, which coach Tom Kish said was very satisfactory for the Thunder.
Elk River and Rogers will be in the North Central district with Alexandria, Bemidji, Big Lake, Brainerd, Buffalo, Cambridge-Isanti, Chisago Lakes Area, Duluth East, Monticello, Moorhead, North Branch, Princeton, Rocori, St. Cloud Apollo, St. Cloud Tech, Sartell-St. Stephen, Sauk Rapids-Rice, St. Francis, STMA and Willmar.
Elk River will no longer have longtime rivals such as Anoka, Coon Rapids, Andover and Blaine on the schedule.
“We got where we wanted to be. It’s a good fit for us,” said Elk coach Steve Hamilton. “We enjoy playing schools like Rogers and St. Michael and Monticello. In the smaller towns, the farther away from the cities, the more important the high school team is.”
Spectrum was placed in the Twin Cities district with 28 smaller metro-area schools.