Through the Uprights: Mike Lavieri 8/18

Mike Lavieri

By Mike Lavieri PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: August 18, 2015 - 6:12 AM

I don’t know about you, but I’m elated for Sept. 4 to arrive.

There is nothing like Friday Night Lights, and see communities come together to watch the local high schools.

When I left the Shawnee Dispatch and Bonner Springs Chieftain nine months ago, I knew I would miss being on the sidelines, but I didn’t know how much until I didn’t cover any basketball in the winter or baseball in the spring.

My love is writing about sports and I’m happy to be back at it after a way-too-long hiatus.

Before we get into why I’m excited about this year, a little about myself. I’m a 2012 journalism graduate from the University of Kansas. I covered Kansas basketball and football while in Lawrence, and have spent much of the last few years since I graduated around the high school sports scene in Kansas City, specifically the Sunflower and Kaw Valley leagues.

This season marks the beginning of the end.

Next season we’ll see Mill Valley High leave the Kaw Valley for green pastures in the Eastern Kansas League. St. James Academy will join the Jaguars, as it will have a league home for the first time in school history.

With MVHS’s departure, this will be the final season where every team will be playing for second place, even though Mill Valley is playing an independent schedule.

This season also marks the final season for Class 5A and 6A where there is district play the last three weeks of the season.

I’ve never been a fan of districts and I voice that in one of my final columns at the Shawnee Dispatch.

Districts don’t reward teams for playing well for six weeks only to go 1-2 in the final three weeks and miss the playoffs. A team goes 7-2 and misses the playoffs, but a team that goes 0-6, then 2-1 makes the playoffs? Something isn’t right, and I’m happy to see KSHSAA finally do something about it.

The playoffs are reserved for the teams that play consistently throughout the year, not the final three weeks. It will be interesting to see in 2016 how ties are broken.

But until then, we’re going to see the broken system for one more year. Let’s hope the trial run in 5A and 6A goes well so the lower classes shackles of district will become undone.

You can find me on Twitter @mikelavieri.