St. James, Mill Valley to join EKL
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
The landscape of high school football will change starting in the fall of 2016. St. James Academy and possibly Mill Valley will join the Eastern Kansas League. The additions bring the league total to 10 teams starting in the 2016-17 school year.
The move was first reported by The Shawnee Dispatch Wednesday. St. James has spent its first 10 years as an independent while Mill Valley has been a member of the Kaw Valley League since it opened in 2000.
St. James has already accepted the invitation. Mill Valley Activities Director David Ewers said his school has been extended an invitation and the district is weighing its options.
For St. James the move to the EKL is something they have been looking to do the last few seasons. The school has grown over that time and moved into Class 5A for football this year. St. James enrollment numbers are now equal to St. Thomas Aquinas and more than Bishop Miege.
St. James Activities Director Mark Huppe said this is a very positive move for the school.
“We are thrilled with the invitation and we definitely accepted,” Huppe said. “For the past three years we’ve made formal presentations to the Eastern Kansas League to gain entry. We were just informed this morning the accepted it and invited us and we accepted.”
Huppe said this move helps football on several different levels.
“We won’t struggle to fill our schedule anymore,” Huppe said. “We will play a quality team every night out of the box.
“The Eastern Kansas League, if it’s not the best league in the state of Kansas it’s right up there. It’s one of the most prestigious leagues in the Midwest in my opinion.”
Van Horn Falcons
Fort Osage Indians
Blue Valley West Jaguars
Jefferson West Tigers
Pleasant Ridge Rams
Bishop Ward Cyclones
North Platte Panthers
Jefferson County North
Park Hill Trojans