View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 9/5
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
It’s an even year so that means we start a new two-year cycle of district play in Kansas. While there are some new faces in each class every year the districts never seem to go under any radical changes.
Sure Gardner-Edgerton moved up to 6A and Blue Valley West moved down to 5A same for Bonner Springs (down to 4A) and Blue Valley Southwest (up to 5A). While these changes seem to come every year the last three weeks of the season seem to be almost the same or pretty close to the same year in, year out.
One thing the district season in Kansas does is provide some great matchups right out of the box. Last week we see it all over the schedule. There were two semifinal rematches along with early season showdowns that are intriguing for the game itself and what it means to conference races and possible playoff matchups. This week is more of the same with Gardner-Edgerton at Bishop Miege and Lawrence Free State at Shawnee Mission West among others.
With some of the district requirements conferences seem to have front loaded the schedule this season to give us great game after great game early in the season. I doubt that is how it happened but that is how the schedule looks to me.
The subtle district realignment that comes every year could be a prelude to some major changes on the horizon. Every time I talk to someone about conferences in Kansas they whisper that change is coming. Everything from a team here or there moving in our out to widespread change is on the horizon depending on who you talk to.
This time two years from now the Sunflower, EKL, Frontier, Kaw Valley, KCK-Atchison and others could all have new members. Could the Sunflower break apart or just one team move in? What about the EKL?
The changes come as schools and districts are growing and shrinking and the current situations don’t. Either way I think change is coming.
What will happen I don’t know but there are a few changes that I think would help all involved. First Leavenworth is close to dropping to 5A and a move out of the all 6A Sunflower might just be in order. Maybe the Pioneers could make the move to the Kaw where 5A schools like Lansing, Turner and Mill Valley compete with very strong 4A programs like Basehor-Linwood and Piper.
Maybe Leavenworth could move to the KCK-Atchison League that is made up of 5A, 6A and 4A schools. Either way the days in the Sunflower might just be numbered for the Pioneers.
That move will create others like maybe a 6A (if they grow) Mill Valley to the Sunflower or what about Gardner-Edgerton. Who knows maybe the Olathe and Blue Valley schools combine to form a new conference, maybe some of the Kaw Valley and Frontier get together.
These are just a few ideas but things could very interesting the next time around. Either way enjoy these early-season matchups knowing that change could be on the horizon.
Dion Clisso is the Managing Editor of PrepsKC. To reach him send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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