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High School Highlight: Private or Public and Does It Matter?

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The greatest rivalry in high school hockey, Private Schools vs. Public Schools.

Mark Nolan

Welcome back to this week’s edition of the High School Hockey Highlight.  We are nearing closer to the start of the season with just under and month until first puck drop.  This week we are going to take a look at the state’s best and most hotly debated rivalries.  No I’m not talking about any individual schools; I’m talking about the Public School vs. Private school rivalry.  This rivalry has produced so many great moments throughout the years not only at a tournament level, but also locally as well.

Having graduated from a public school, like any hockey loving Minnesotan,  I enjoyed going to the state tournament and supporting my school in hopes of a title.  The thing that always got us going the most in the stands though was when one of those dastardly private schools played us.  How dare those schools who recruit kids try and keep us from a title, was a common theme amongst my classmates.  The important thing was that those games seemed to matter more to the fans than any other game.  Watching many fans from other schools that were not even playing cheering for whoever was playing the private schools.

The dominance of St. Thomas Academy in the class A tournament comes directly to mind.  After winning three straight titles, they were required to move up to Class Double A where they failed to make the tournament.  Duluth Marshall making three straight state finals, failing to bring home a title, is another one that comes to mind.  Some people believe that all private schools should be in their own class since no other school is able to recruit kids and offer scholarships.  While that is certainly an option that should be looked at, the base rivalry of private vs. public adds so much to the tournament.  Another option that people have considered is making all private schools jumping up into Class Double A.  Looking at how Benelde St. Margaret and St. Thomas Academy faired last year after moving up most people wouldn’t argue with that, still competitive but not overwhelming to the other schools from Double A.  Still some people would argue that’s not fair, but with the open enrollment status of most Class Double A schools it should more than make up for the recruitment that is offered by the larger schools.  And last I checked a team by the name of Edina still needs to be dethroned, before we can even look at that becoming an unfair advantage as well.

What do you think should be done to either make or break up this Private vs. Public school rivalry?  Weigh in down below in the comment section and let me know!