Three More Area High Schools Joining Gopher Conference
A few weeks ago Kenyon-Wanamingo announced they were going to join the Gopher Conference during the 2021-2022 school year. At that time at least two other schools had indicated an interest in also becoming members.
Randolph was a member before deciding to go to the Southeast Conference a few seasons ago. The Rockets will be back in the Gopher in 2021-2022.
Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton was also a member previously and the Bulldogs will be back in 2021-2022. This is a natural fit because they co-op with Waterville-Elysian-Morristown in wrestling.
The Bulldogs do have boys and girls soccer. Kenyon-Wanamingo has a co-op in those sports with Triton and Hayfield.
Triton is the other school joining the Gopher Conference due to enrollment declines in recent years. The Cobras are also joining the league in the 2021-2022 season.
Now the question is will the league form a couple of divisions. Total speculation here. Maybe an East Division and a West Division with I-35 your dividing line.
A North Division and South Division might make some sense with Highway 14 being the dividing line.
Under that scenario these would be your divisions:
Gopher North (enrollments according to local school directory.com grades 9-12)
- Bethlehem Academy (159)
- Waterville-Elysian-Morristown (277)
- Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton (205)
- Kenyon-Wanamingo (259)
- Medford (215)
- Randolph (177)
- Blooming Prairie (220)
- New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva (296)
- Triton (331)
- Maple River (365)
- Hayfield (254)
- United South Central (265)
A current coach in the Gopher Conference said he'd like to see the divisions determined by enrollment to make the competition more even.
There are other decisions that still need to be made in terms of conference schedules in the various sports.
In volleyball for example does every team play each other in their division twice and the other division once? Likewise in the other sports.
It's going to be very competitive with no huge disparity in enrollments. That is the whole idea behind inviting these teams to join.