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6 private metro schools form new IMAC conference

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The six private schools that bolted a bulging Tri-Metro Conference last fall are forming their own conference.

The Blake School, Breck, Minnehaha Academy, Mounds Park Academy, Providence Academy and St. Paul Academy will compete in the new Independent Metro Athletic Conference (IMAC) beginning with the 2014-15 school year. Both Blake and St. Paul Academy have announced the move on their websites.

"While the Tri-Metro remains an important part of Blake’s athletic tradition, the recent expansion of the conference to 16 teams had Blake competing with schools of widely differing enrollments and athletic programs," the school said in a statement. "The expansion also posed significant scheduling challenges for many teams. Forming the IMAC provides scheduling flexibility and the ability to honor all student-athletes in an equitable manner."

Minnehaha Academy activities director Homar Ramirez tells the Pioneer Press the school is "extremely excited" about the change.

According to the Star Tribune, Joe Kordosky, Mounds Park Academy activities director, says all six schools are excited about "being in a smaller and more manageable conference.”

The six schools withdrew from the Tri-Metro in October following the addition of three new institutions to the conference. The Minnesota State High School League added Columbia Heights, Fridley and Holy Angels – schools that will immediately be near the top of the conference in enrollment when they join in 2014-15.

The Pioneer Press reported at the time the schools that decided to exit were concerned with scheduling issues, being on the smaller end of enrollment, and the ensuing competitive disadvantage that came from being part of a 16-member conference.

At the time, it was not immediately clear what the six withdrawn schools would do, but the idea of forming a new conference was offered as a possibility.

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