A potential move of Princeton High School from the Granite Ridge Conference to a newly formed Mississippi 10 Conference has been taken off the fast track.
The Princeton Board of Education did not vote on a move Tuesday like school district officials had anticipated during a school board meeting last month.
There has also been a change in the circumstances under which Princeton might switch conferences, Superintendent Richard Lahn confirmed.
On Feb. 28 Lahn told school board members that Princeton’s joining the new conference is contingent upon Chisago Lakes, North Branch and St. Francis joining.
But that isn’t necessarily the case, now.
“When we were invited to join the Mississippi 10 we were led to believe that all the other schools were a definite ‘go’,” Lahn said.
But the move has generated a lot of community discussion in the Chisago Lakes community and has become quite a hot button, Lahn said.
Lahn believes that if Chisago Lakes were to come out against a move to the Mississippi 10, Becker would be asked to stay in the conference. Becker is supposed to move to the Granite Ridge next season with former Mississippi 8 rivals Zimmerman and Princeton.
Under that scenario, Princeton would still be very interested in joining the Mississippi 10, even though Chisago Lakes wouldn’t be one of those schools.
“As a matter of fact, that might be better for us,” Lahn said.
Chisago Lakes is the greatest travel distance for Princeton in the new conference. Chisago Lakes is 45 miles from Princeton one-way. Becker is about half the distance at 21 miles.
“Becker is closer and they look more like us,” Lahn said. Princeton has 925 students and Chisago Lakes has 1,057 students. Becker has 722 students.
Because of the uncertainty of the Mississippi 10’s potential makeup, the Princeton School Board will not vote until those questions are ironed out, Lahn said.
“We will not go anywhere until we know who the players are at the table,” he said.
On Tuesday, March 20 the school district hosted an informational forum for parents on issues regarding a conference move.
Five community members attended the meeting.
School district officials said a conference change would be made for reasons centering around student opportunity.
The Mississippi 10 offers Princeton student athletes more opportunities to compete because there are more activities offered in areas that Princeton offers activity participation and in many sports there are more levels of play across multiple grade levels, meaning more athletes get to play.