Road trips often a necessity to winning
Perham High School Athletic and Activities Director Fred Sailer recently addressed concerns on the length of some recent playoff road trips. The explanation was caused by what appeared to be some talk around the District as to why Perham High Sch...
Perham High School Athletic and Activities Director Fred Sailer recently addressed concerns on the length of some recent playoff road trips.
The explanation was caused by what appeared to be some talk around the District as to why Perham High School would choose to play section football at Grand Forks instead of Fargo, or another neutral site, or at the higher seeded team.
I owe it to you, to explain, Sailer said in a written statement to the FOCUS.
Concerning why Perham would play the section championship game in Grand Forks, North Dakota rather than a closer venue, Sailer said, "If you disagree with the rationale, that is your choice; regardless, we are governed by the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) and a quite functional hierarchy of decision making."
According to Sailer, Perham High School belongs to Region 6A administrative section; it is an elected committee that governs tournaments, there are 15 other administrative sections in Minnesota.
"Even though we belong to this group, we have many activities that fall outside of Region 6A governance due to differing numbers of classes and geographical location.
In regard to football we are an AAA level school (determined by student population), we are assigned to Section 8AAA and are governed by Region 8A Administrative committee."
Perham does not have a say in how Region 8A governs 8AAA football.
Section 8AAA football includes all schools our enrollment size from as far South as Perham, West to East Grand Forks, East to Pequot Lakes and our Northern boundary is the Canadian Border.
Round one and two of section play is played at the higher seeded team, this is done to save on team and fan travel expenses and ensure greater gate receipts.
The final round of play, or championship game, is played at a neutral site on artificial turf across the state of Minnesota.
It is played on artificial turf due to typically poor field conditions. Region 8A has chosen to play all championship games in the Alerus Center, it saves money to have many games on one day and it ensures quality conditions. The facility is contracted at least one year in advance.
Why the Alerus Center and not the Fargo Dome? It is due to our location, we are at the extreme end of the section, and the Alerus Center is more neutral to the majority of the teams in 8AAA football.
Last year East Grand Forks played Thief River Falls in the championship game, so the location makes sense for the most teams."
Ironically, next season Thief River Falls and East Grand Forks will be moving to AAAA football, prompting a possible change moving 8AAA football to the Fargo Dome since it would the more central site for the remaining teams.
According to Sailer, it is being discussed and a decision should be made soon.
As for playing the quarterfinal state tournament game at St. Cloud State, Sailer explained, "That is determined by the MSHSL. Since we were assigned to play the 5AAA champion, the central location was SCSU."
This game must also be played on turf, but may not be played in a dome, due to perceived fairness to all semi-final teams.
Semi-final and championship games are all played at the Metrodome.
Sailer noted the semi-final games all moved to the Metrodome in 1990 the year after Perham played Deer River in 22 below wind chill conditions.
"In the end, these decisions by Section Committees and the MSHSL are based on what is best for the most," he said.