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Worthington athletic officials react to Minnesota State High School League's new section assignments


WORTHINGTON -- When Worthington High School athletic teams prepare for the postseason next year, things will be a little different for a few of the teams.

The Minnesota High School League recently released the new section assignments across the state, and a few area teams will be changing classes and sections.

The Worthington boys' and girls' basketball teams have moved down a class and will be in Section 3AA starting next year.

"From a personal standpoint, I'm neutral on whether or not it was a good thing or a bad thing," WHS head boys' basketball coach Ron Vorwald said. "I think that the one thing that stands out in my head is that scouting will be much easier because it will be more local. Where Section 2AAA, you're talking about Dassel-Cokato, Hutchinson and driving up there to scout and those types of things. Being in Class AA, we're talking about more local opponents in that regard and probably teams that we'll have faced during the course of our regular season."

The Trojans will join Southwest Conference foes Jackson County Central, Luverne, Pipestone Area, Redwood Valley and Windom in the section.

"As far as competition is concerned, there are a lot of good Class AA schools as well," said Vorwald, whose team is preparing to play in Thursday's Section 2AAA final. "We have been in AA before. It's been a while, but not that long ago, we were in Class AA. During the course of that two-year period, we had beaten the eventual section champion in AAA in both of those years and ended up getting beat by the eventual section champ in Class AA. It just depends on the year. The competition is just as tough no matter what class you're in."

While basketball moved down a class, other sports moved up.

Girls' tennis is now in Class AA, while the boys remained in A.

Both cross country and track and field moved up a class to AA -- the largest class in the state.

"It's tough because it's really helped our program to be in the class we're in right now," cross country and track and field coach Ken Henkels said. "That's who we compete against all the time. It's a tough one.

"We'll still compete and we'll still have fun. In track, you still have to compete."

In cross country, WHS will be in a section with teams like: Buffalo, Chanhassen, Chaska, Dassel-Cokato, Delano, Holy Family Catholic, Hutchinson, Mankato East, Mankato West, Marshall, Mound-Westonka, Orono, Shakopee and Waconia.

"We've loved in track to go over to Redwood Valley or wherever for our section meet and even for cross country, it's to Adrian," Henkels said. "You can't beat that."

The dance team moved down a class for WHS, while music is now in a higher class.

In other notable changes, Fulda and Westbrook-Walnut Grove are now in Section 3 9-man in football.

In boys' basketball, Round-Lake Brewster and Southwest Star Concept have moved to Section 2A.

In girls' basketball, RL-B and SSC will combine next season and will compete in Section 2A. Red Rock Central will join them in the section, although the Falcon boys are still in 3A.