View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 10/9
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
On Sept. 27 the Kansas State High School Activities Association released the new classifications for the upcoming two-year cycle. There were several interesting moves in several classes that should have an exciting impact on football starting next season.
Starting in 6A Blue Valley and Harmon moved up from 5A with Leavenworth moving down. Those moves mean that 17 teams from the Metro are now a part of 6A which means the districts will force one or more teams from the Metro to go to the other side of the bracket.
Other moves were St. James Academy and Bonner Springs from 4A to 5A and Bishop Miege dropping to 4A. Of course 4A will look different for everyone involved as it is split into two 32 team divisions. Miege will be in the big division and the last time the Stags were in Class 4A they won the state title.
The changes in 4A happen every cycle. The change in 6A is a sign that the biggest schools in the state are getting closer and closer to the Metro. The populations in places like Wichita and further west are not growing at the same rate as schools in our area.
In the next cycle Mill Valley and Blue Valley West could be up in 6A while more schools in Wichita like Wichita Heights could be dropping.
With 17 schools in the Metro now in 6A that means that at least one team will be forced to the other side of the bracket. When KSHSAA does its districts it usually tries to keep teams close geographically. This helps to cut down on travel costs and keeps natural rivalries in place.
If you look at a map the western most school in that is currently in the east side of the bracket is Lawrence Free State. If geography is used the Firebirds would be on the same side with Derby, Hutchinson, Topeka, Manhattan and Dodge City. Given the current state of all of those football programs Free State would instantly be the favorite to win that bracket.
The districts were released Tuesday and that is just what happened. Free State was placed on the west side in a district with Manhattan, Topeka and Wasburn Rural.
Just think of a Free State vs. Shawnee Mission West state championship game. Or maybe Olathe North or Shawnee Mission East, it really doesn’t matter. The thought of two Metro teams battling it out for the state championship would be great.
I think we are all biased when it comes to our brand of football. Both sides of the state line have produced countless state champs and every year there is game where a lot of people say it is the real state championship.
Who knows in Kansas 6A the real state championship game could be just that, the real state championship game.
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