Weather, conference situation keeps Trojan AD busy

New Prague High School Activities Director Brad Skogerboe has been a busy man over the past few weeks.

He has spent hours on the phone, not only dealing with the pending demise of the Missota Conference, but also coping with an unseasonably cold and snowy April that has played havoc with the schedule. Already more than 25 events have been either been rescheduled or cancelled due to the weather. By contrast, New Prague had only three postponements or cancellation during the entire 2011-12 school year.

This week, poor field conditions and weather forecasts led conference ADs to cancel the entire first half of the double round-robin schedule for baseball and softball, and make the entire second round of the schedule into doubleheaders. The conference schedule begins April 25.

“This will reduce the number of dates we have by seven, so hopefully we can get in a full schedule and most of our non-conference dates as well,” Skogerboe said. So far all baseball, softball and tennis dates have been rescheduled except for baseball games with Willmar and Buffalo. Skogerboe said they are looking for a date for those games.

Track and golf are another matter. Golf courses were just about ready to open when the snow hit on April 5, and it could be awhile before they are open. Several meets have been cancelled. New Prague has also lost a couple of track meets, though it hopes to compete either today (Thursday) with a boys meet at Farmington or Saturday at the Lakeville North Mega-Meet.

Skogerboe has been AD in New Prague for five years, and served in the same capacity for four years at Montgomery- Lonsdale. “Add to that all the years of coaching and playing spring sports, and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Conference situation Skogerboe has also been busy talking to area activities directors trying to make arrangements for a new conference home for the Trojans. Shakopee, Farmington, Chaska and Chanhassen have already announced they are leaving after the 2013-14 school year and two others, Red Wing and Northfield, expected to be admitted to the Big Nine Conference next month. That leaves New Prague and Holy Angels looking for new conference homes.

Skogerboe said that within the next week or two he expects the schools to vote to disband the conference after the 2013-14 school year, a formality that will help the Trojans if they are unable to find a new conference home.

New Prague has applied for membership in the Metro West Conference, but Skogerboe said the conference has not yet voted on the application and while he remains hopeful, there is a real possibility the application would be turned down.

If New Prague applies to, and is turned down by three conferences, they would then petition the Minnesota State High School League to place them in a conference. However, that process could take up to six months. If New Prague does not have a conference lined up by September 1, the Trojans might have to play an “independent” schedule during the 2014-15 season. That could mean long drives and odd schedules for all sports during the season.

Skogerboe is expected to update the school board on the conference situation at its April 22 meeting.