After back to back state titles for the MA boys’ basketball team there has been talk surrounding whether the Redhawks should move up a class
Despite winning two straight state championships, and winning 24 out of 30 games against class AAA and AAAA competition in the past two years, the Minnehaha boys’ basketball team will remain in class AA for the time being. The rule for Minnesota high school sports makes it so that every two years the team decides whether they would like to move up or down in class rank or stay in the same class. This rule is applied to all team and individual sports in the Minnesota state high school league.
“We are on a two year cycle, so the next time we could decide we wanted to move up would probably be mid winter of this year,” said head basketball coach Lance Johnson.
On teams in higher class levels a large group of players is needed. Better basketball requires more players to be involved in each game.
“When you start opting up in class the big thing you need is depth,” said Johnson. “In a AA school a lot of time they just don’t have the depth.”
Lots of thought is put into decisions like this. Many people would be involved in this decision including the president, principal, athletic director, head coach and input from the players.
“I would always have it as a consideration but it would be talking about it with the right people.” said Johnson.
In their nearly 100 years of the basketball program, the team has won 3 state titles.
“If we moved up to AAA I think we would get put in a section with DeLaSalle, who has won six straight championships and didn’t move up in class, because they’re in Minneapolis and we’re in Minneapolis,” said Athletic Director Josh Thurow. “So now the championship game gets played in the section final. I’d much rather be playing a title game in the state tournament than in a section final.”
A meeting for the two year class rule is typically set at the beginning of the state hockey tournament.
“Everybody freaks out because our boys’ hockey team always appears in AA hockey right away and then we end up going down to class A,” said Thurow.
Following two state titles many people believe the boys’ basketball team shouldn’t be in class AA but rather move up and play tougher competition outside of their class.
“If we hid behind being class AA and didn’t play anybody in the regular season that was above A and AA opponents, maybe people could get on us, but we take on all comers in the regular season,” said Thurow. “We play AAAA tough competition. We’re not ducking anybody so I think it is the right move for Minnehaha Academy to stay in AA.”