View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 5/26

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: May 31, 2018 - 9:58 AM

The calendar is almost to June and that means that most if not all programs across the Metro will be going full steam ahead into the 2018 season.

In the past the first couple weeks of August was when football started but these days the season begins in late May and June. Teams begin camps and what used to take place three weeks before the season now happens two months before.

With every offseason there are changes all over the Metro with new coaches. Some years it’s four or five sometimes the number can reach into the teens. New coaches, new systems it all brings change.

This year we are seeing even more change with our own version of conference realignment at the high school level. That has happened in the past as one or two teams move around from time to time.

This year there was major movement as two old conferences disbanded, a new one was formed, and several other teams joined the ranks of the independents.

On the Kansas side the Kaw Valley League played its last season in 2017 as some teams moved to the Frontier another to the Crossroads and the rest formed a new league.

The last two years the Kaw Valley consisted of Basehor-Linwood, Bonner Springs, Bishop Ward, Lansing, Piper, Turner and Tonganoxie. This year Piper, Tonganoxie and Bonner Springs will join the Frontier League while Bishop Ward joins the Crossroads Conference featuring Missouri schools Van Horn, Summit Christian Academy and University Academy.

The remaining schools: Basehor-Linwood, Lansing and Turner along with Leavenworth from the Sunflower League, DeSoto from the Frontier League and Shawnee Heights from the Centennial League to form the United Kansas Conference.

In terms of football, these moves are a very good fit for all involved. Piper, Tonganoxie and Bonner Springs join a group of schools in the Frontier that are all 4A schools. Bishop Ward will play smaller schools more its size and the United Kansas Conference features five 5A schools and Basehor-Linwood which is a growing district and could be in 5A very soon.

These moves could allow same sized schools to compete and it should be a fun season watching the new league take shape.

On the Missouri side the Suburban Conference added two teams as Grain Valley and Smithville moved in and join the Suburban Blue. Those moves left openings in the Midland Empire and Missouri River Valley Conference West. St. Pius X takes Smithville’s spot in the MEC while Warrensburg is joining the MRVC West.

If you are keeping score at home that means the West Central Conference is missing two members. Throw in the fact Nevada’s short run in the league is coming to an end and they go back with schools from Southwest Missouri and the West Central’s remaining four teams: Center, Sedalia Smith-Cotton, Clinton and St. Michael are joining Rockhurst, Pembroke Hill and Hogan Prep Academy as Independents in 2018.

That’s a lot of movement but there is still more. The Western Missouri Conference is adding Jasper and Liberal while Osceola is staying in 8-man football again this year.

Now there could be a few more changes in terms of 11-man versus 8-man as classifications in Missouri won’t be released until Aug. 17 as the Missouri State High School Activities Association is allowing schools to give enrollment and participation numbers later so teams that may need to drop to 8-man more time to gauge their size.

So, stay tuned there could be more change coming.