The Jordan boys and girls basketball teams are on their way up — to a higher class.
Every two years, the Minnesota State High School League reclassifies sections for all classes in every sport with new enrollment figures.
Jordan, the 127th biggest school in the state, is moving from Class 2A to 3A in basketball. The largest class is 4A.
Both Jordan teams will be in Section 2AAA with the likes of Mankato East, Mankato West, Marshall, New Prague, New Ulm, St. Peter and Worthington.
“It will present a challenge for us, but we won’t shy away from that,” boys coach Matt Urbanek said. “We welcome the challenge. It will force us to raise our level of play to match our competition. All in all, that is a good thing.
This past season, both basketball teams moved from Minnesota River Conference to the Wright County East Conference, and there was an adjustment period. The boys finished 5-9 in league play, while the girls were 7-7.
“There is never a night off in our conference,” Urbanek said. “We need to come ready to play every single night. I believe our team and our players will continue to grow and raise our level of play due to the higher level of competition.”
Marshall was the state runner-up in girls basketball this past season, and has been on the better programs in the state at that level over the past two decades, winning championships in 2001 and 2002 and finishing second three other times (2006, 2014 and 2015).
The Jordan girls have three state appearances in Class 2A (2007, 2008 and 2009).
“Jordan has been on the cusp of AA and AAA for the past few years, so we knew (moving up) was a big possibility,” said girls coach Leah Aamlid. “With that said, our schedule this past season and the WCC have prepared us well for this transition, so we are excited for the challenge.
“We have a great group of hard working players, and we’re looking forward to seeing how we can continue to grow as a program,” she added.
The Jordan boys have two state appearances in program history, 2018 and 2010. Since 2010, Marshall has been in the Class 3A state field five times. Mankato West was the Section 2AAA champion this past winter.
Meanwhile, basketball isn’t the only Jordan sport affected by realignment. Baseball and softball are moving from Section 1AAA to 2AAA next year.
Mankato West has been power in Section 2AAA softball for years. The Scarlets won a Class 3A state title in 2016 and was runner-up in 2008 and 2019. New Prague won back-to-back state titles in 2012 and 2013 when softball was still three classes.
In wrestling, Scott West has been one of state’s top programs for decades. The program earned 15 state berths in Class 2A since 2000.
The Panthers will remain in Class 2A, but New Prague is moving down from Class 3A to join Scott West’s section. New Prague has been a strong program for the last five seasons, finishing second in Section 2AAA to Shakopee the last three years.
The Sabers have won the last three Class 3A state titles, while Scott West has lost in the Section 2AA semifinals the last two seasons.
In 2019, the Jordan cross country teams moved up to Class 2A and were placed in a Section 2AA with some strong big-school programs.
But cross country is going to three classes next year, so Section 2AA will drop from 17 teams down 12 with some of the bigger metro programs — Chanhassen, Chaska and Shakopee — now in Class 3A.
Track is also going to three classes. Jordan moved to Class 2A in 2019 and was in an 18-team section field. The Section 2AA field is now 12 teams with the bigger metro squads moving up.
Soccer is also going to three classes next fall. Jordan will move up to from Class A to Class AA and both the boys and girls teams will be part of Section 2AA.
Volleyball is going to four classes next fall. Jordan has been in Section 2AA and now will be in Section 6AAA with the likes of Holy Angels, Benilde-St. Margaret’s School, Bloomington Kennedy, Delano, Mound Westonka, New Prague and Orono.
Nordic skiing, a first-year program this past winter, is moving from Section 1 to 2 and will compete against three Lake Conference programs, Eden Prairie, Edina and Minnetonka.
Not much changed for dance (Section 3AA), football (Section 2AAAA), golf (Section 2AA) and girls tennis (Section 2AA).
In football, the section still has just six teams, adding Faribault but losing Mankato East.