KVL alters alignment
The Kaw Valley League will be divided into two five-school divisions, once Bonner Springs joins the conference next fall.
In the 2002-03 school year, the new 10-team conference will be divided into a division tabbed for larger schools and another one for smaller schools.
The alignment was determined by enrollment from freshman through senior classes. The numbers will be checked every two years, the same way state football classifications are decided.
For next year, Tonganoxie will join Bonner Springs, Lansing, Basehor-Linwood and Mill Valley in the larger division. Santa Fe Trail, Perry-Lecompton, Piper, De Soto and Immaculata will be in the smaller division.
Tonganoxie athletics director John Lee said Bonner Springs would be a nice addition to the KVL.
"Adding Bonner adds more competition and gives us a higher level of competition that maybe didn't used to be there," Lee said.
The move brings strong wrestling, football and basketball programs to the league, Lee said.
Not all schools were happy with the reconfiguration, though. Perry-Lecompton and Santa Fe Trail weren't in favor of the realignment as both schools have greater distances to travel than any of the other eight teams. Basehor-Linwood and Tonganoxie are closest to Perry-Lecompton and Santa Fe Trail, but they are in the other division.
"Santa Fe and Perry weren't really in favor of it," Lee said. "But for the rest of us, they're all within 15 minutes. We're pretty lucky."
The new alignment will also bring some schedule changes.
Basketball and soccer will have the biggest alterations in schedules, as teams in the same division will play twice, and interdivision play will include just one game between teams, the same schedule that the Big 12 Conference follows in basketball.
In football, which has a nine-game schedule, all teams play their four divisional opponents and then rotate in games against the other division and nonconference opponents.
Bonner Springs' entrance also helped accelerate assembly of schedules for next season. Fall and winter sports schedules are nearly finished. Lee said schedules don't usually come out until May.