Burnsville's enrollment continues to go down, according to the Minnesota State High School League.
The league reclassifies sections every two years across and with that are new enrollment numbers. Burnsville fell all the way to No. 31 in the state.
The school was tied for 19th in enrollment in the 2021 reclassification. Before that, it was consistently in the top 10.
What does that mean for Burnsville sports? Perhaps in 2025, the Blaze will no longer in the top class in football where Class 6A is comprised of the 32 biggest schools.
No programs opted up this year, when in the past Totino-Grace and Cretin-Derham Hall have done so. However, both of those programs have struggled in recent years, so Totino-Grace will compete in Class 4A and Cretin-Derham Hall will stay in Class 5A next fall.
There are two new schools in the top football class in Buffalo and Rochester Mayo, while Brainerd was moved back to Class 5A.
There's a 32-team playoff bracket for the top football class. Burnsville was moved out of Section 6AAAAAA and into Section 3AAAAAA with Lakeville North, Lakeville South, Rochester Mayo, Eagan, Eastview, Rosemount and Farmington.
Buffalo joined Section 6AAAAAA with Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Wayzata, Prior Lake Shakopee, Edina and Hopkins.
Section 4AAAAAA includes East Ridge, Stillwater, Park, Woodbury, Mounds View, Forest Lake, Roseville and White Bear Lake, while Section 5AAAAA consists of Maple Grove, Blaine, Centennial, Champlin Park, Anoka, St. Michael-Albertville, Coon Rapids and Osseo.
Enrollment-wise, the top 10 schools in the state are Minnetonka (3,348), Wayzata (3,321), Prior Lake (2,655), Blaine (2,535), Edina (2,506), Champlin Park (2,499), Eden Prairie (2,479) and Stillwater (2,441), Shakopee (2,354) and Rosemount (2,224).
Prior Lake, Shakopee and Rosemount are three biggest South Suburban Conference schools, followed by Eastview (14th, 2,049), Farmington (15th, 2,011), Eagan (17th, 1,973), Lakeville South (No. 24, 1,725), Lakeville North (No. 25, 1,694), Burnsville (No. 31, 1,633) and Apple Valley (No. 40, 1,488).
Football was not the only Burnsville team to move into a different section. The Blaze Nordic ski teams went from Section 1 to Section 2 with the likes of Minnetonka, Edina and Eden Prairie, along with Minneapolis Southwest and Washburn.
In hockey, both Burnsville programs are in co-ops. The boys are with Apple Valley and the team stayed Section 3AA with the number of teams going from seven to nine with additions of Hastings and Two Rivers.
On the girls side, Burnsville is in a co-op with DeLaSalle, St. Agnes, St. Paul Academy, Bethlehem Academy and Faribault to form the Metro-South Phoenix. The team was moved in to Section 6AA, which includes perennial power Edina, along with Wayzata, Bloomington Jefferson, Hopkins/Park, Armstrong/Cooper and Benilde-St. Margaret's.
Edina has won three state titles since 2017 and has won the Section 6A crown the last eight seasons.
In boys lacrosse, the Burnsville boys is a co-op with Bloomington Kennedy in Section 6. That field will get tougher next spring with Shakopee and Eden Prairie moving in from Section 2.
In girls lacrosse, Burnsville is a co-op with Apple Valley. Shakopee was moved to Section 6 next fall, but Eden Prairie stayed in Section 2.
Section 2AAA wrestling got a little stronger for the Blaze. It went from eight to nine teams with the addition of New Prague, the state runner-up in Class 2A this past winter.
And in volleyball, Burnsville stayed in Section 6AAA where it's the defending champion. However, two teams were added to the field next fall in Kennedy and Apple Valley, while Minneapolis South moved out.
Burnsville was the No. 1 seed in the section last year and got a bye in the first round, so with eight teams now the top seed will no longer get a bye in the quarterfinals.
To see how the MSHSL realigned all of the sections, as well as the enrollment numbers, go to mshsl.org/tournaments/competitive-sections.