Beacons host St. Anthony in their home opener

The Concordia Academy football team plays its home opener on Friday and will either be trying to capitalize on the momentum of a week one victory or rebound from a week one loss.

The Beacons opened the season last Friday, but because of an early holiday deadline results of the game against St. Paul Academy/Mounds Park Academy were unavailable for this edition of the Review.

In addition to being the home opener, this week’s game is also the Tri-Metro Conference opener for Concordia. In the past, a game against St. Paul Academy would be a conference game but that's not the case this year. SPA is one of six schools that left the Tri-Metro at the end of the last school year to form their own league.

The six schools vacated the Tri-Metro in part because of the size of the three schools that were added to the conference. Fridley and Holy Angels, along with Columbia Heights, are new to the Tri-Metro Conference this season after their previous conferences dissolved. All three were assigned to the Tri-Metro by the Minnesota State High School League after being rejected by every conference to which they applied for admission.

The addition of Columbia Heights, Fridley and Holy Angels prompted Blake, Breck, Minnehaha Academy, Mounds Park Academy, Providence Academy and St. Paul Academy to form their league, the Independent Metro Athletic Conference.

The disparity in school size was one of the reasons cited by the departing schools for their decision. Only two schools (St. Anthony and DeLaSalle) had enrollments above 600 last year.

Things will change again next year in terms of football scheduling when the state switches to the "District" format. Every high school football team in the state has been assigned to a district of at least 12 teams and will play their eight-game, regular-season schedules against teams in their district.

The district format will reunite eight of the current Tri-Metro Conference teams and the five that departed last spring. Also in the district are all of the teams from the St. Paul and Minneapolis city conferences, one independent (Spectrum) and one from the Wright County Conference (Mound-Westonka).

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com.

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