Minnesota River Conference, high school sports league formed in 1959, to dissolve

In March 1959, the nine members of the Scott-Le Sueur-Sibley County Conference voted to dissolve after only one year of existence.

Seven schools said they would reorganize as a new conference and begin competition in the 1959-60 school year. The new conference—named the Minnesota River Conference—existed for 65 years.

This long life will end this month. the The league announced in April 2023 that it would disband At the end of this academic year. During the next two weeks, the conference will hold its final competitions. The final week of the baseball and softball regular season schedules is this week. The conference will hold its final athletic directors meeting on Wednesday, the track and field conference has its final meet on Thursday and the golf conference has its final meet on May 20.

Four of the original members of the Minnesota River Conference—Arlington (now Sibley East), Belle Plaine, Le Sueur (now Le Sueur Henderson), and Montgomery (now Tri-City United)—remain members of the conference. The fifth member – Norwood Young America, who became a member in the conference’s second year – also remains a member. Jordan, an original member, left the conference in 2020. Le Center, an original member who left in 2003, is part of Tri-City United.

Meyer Lutheran has been a member since 2003, and Lester Prairie joined in 2021.

Among the many conference highlights were the state championships won by Belle Plaine (one for girls golf, one for girls track and field, and one for volleyball); Le Sueur (boys golf, girls golf, boys basketball) and Le Sueur-Henderson (single softball); Meyer Lutheran (three in volleyball) and Sibley East (two in baseball).

In the fall, current members will have new homes — Belle Plaine and Tri-City United in the Big South; Meyer Lutheran at MCAA. Norwood Young America in Wright County; Lester Prairie is in the Valley/Tomahawk Conference and Le Sueur-Henderson and Sibley East are in a new conference called South Central along with Welcome Crystal Lake, Maple River, Minnesota Valley Lutheran and St. Clair.

Members of the Minnesota River Conference

Arlington-Green Isle/Sibley East (1959-present)

Belle Plaine (1959-present)

Le Sueur/Le Sueur-Henderson (1959-present)

Leicester Prairie (2021–present)

Meyer Lutheran (2002-present)

Montgomery Lonsdale/Tri-City United (1959-present)

Norwood Young America (1960-present)

Former members of the Minnesota River Conference

Holy Family (2003-2011)

Jordan (1959-2020)

Le Center (1959-2003)

Mankato Loyola (1979-2002)

New Prague (1959-1979)

Southwest Christian (2018-2021)

Watertown Meyer (2011-2015)

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