Totino-Grace Football Opts Up Again—This Time to Class 6A
Fridley-based high school team is first in state to move up two classes, St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Totino-Grace High School football keeps climbing classes in Minnesota State High School League competition.
Now the team from the Fridley-based Catholic school will move to the top class in the state: Class 6A, home of the 32 most elite programs, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Wednesday.
In December 2010, Coach Jeff Ferguson told Fridley Patch the team was thinking about opting-up to Class 5A on the heels of another Class 4A state championship.
The 2012 season in Class 5A was a different story, with the Eagles claiming their seventh state title over the last decade by trouncing Owatonna.
But moving up two classes is unprecedented for a Minnesota high school team, MSHSL Associate Director Kevin Merkle told the Pioneer Press.
Ferguson said the players backed the move, the Star Tribune reported:
“We had a competitive season and after it was over we met as a coaching staff. ... We felt we should go to 6A because we fit in with the schools in the middle of that class better than the schools in the middle of 5A. ... We left it up to our kids and they agreed. We kind of think we’re a top-15 program in the state so maybe we should be in the best class.”
Despite meeting the MSHSL criteria for a 4A team, Ferguson told the Pioneer Press the school was ready for the two-year commitment to play in Class 6A. In reference to the 2011 loss to Eden Prairie, he said:
"Yes, we got hammered, but we look at it as though we ended up in the final four. ... We feel like we're a top team. I don't know how much we have in common with Eden Prairie or Wayzata. With that said, we'll play them. I don't know that we're that dissimilar to the others in that group. We're doing what we think is in the best interest of our kids."