End of a tradition nears

Friday nights around the country in fall are filled with tradition. Bands, cheerleaders, lighted fields and football.

The New Prague Trojans’ home game against Red Wing on Friday, Oct. 11, will be the end of an era - actually - the end of two eras.

It will be the last football game for New Prague as members of the Missota Conference. The conference is breaking up and New Prague will join the Wright County Conference next season.

It will also mark the last regular season football game to be played on the grass of Trojan Field. Next spring the field and surrounding track will be torn up and replaced with a synthetic surface. This will allow the field to be used for other activities, such as boys and girls soccer games, without having to worry about wear and tear on the natural turf.

To mark the occasion, all New Prague football alumni are asked to be present for a football reunion.

Two members of the school district’s administrative team who have a strong connection to the football program are working to arrange the reunion. Tony Buthe, Director of Educational Services, was head coach of the Trojans from 1996-2008, taking the team to three state tournaments. Craig Most, Director of Buildings and Grounds, was a junior member of the Trojan team that played the first game at Trojan Field in the fall of 1978.

There will be tailgating behind the north end zone starting at 5:30 p.m., and during halftime of the Trojan- Winger game, all former players, coaches, managers, statisticians and cheerleaders will be honored.

Breakup complete Last week it was announced by the Minnesota State High School League that Holy Angels was being assigned to the Tri-Metro Conference starting next season. That completes the breakup of the Missota Conference, with the eight current teams going into five different conferences. Besides New Prague and Holy Angels, other teams are Shakopee and Farmington, headed to the South Suburban, Chaska and Chanhassen to the newly-formed Metro West Conference, Northfield and Red Wing are going to the Big 9 Conference.

A new tradition will begin next season as New Prague joins the Wright County Conference. The Trojans will compete in a six-team Eastern Division with Hutchinson, Orono, Waconia, Holy Family Catholic and Delano, and will also play as many as three crossover games with schools from the West Division, which includes smaller schools. According to Activities Director Brad Skogerboe, those crossover games can be dropped if both schools agree in order to schedule a nonconference game against a another school. He is already working on such a schedule change