High school football scheduling can become hectic for some teams
One room, 349 athletics directors and two objectives -- find out who is in your school's district and assemble a schedule from that for the next two seasons.
Every two years, new football classifications are announced for Kansas State High School Activities Association schools. Based on that, the KSHSAA determines what teams are in which districts, and then athletic directors, who sometimes bring their football coaches, crank out gridiron schedules.
Sept. 3 LANSING
Sept. 10 BISHOP-WARD
Sept. 17 at Piper
Sept. 24 MILL VALLEY
Oct. 1 at Santa Fe Trail
Oct. 8 BASEHOR-LINWOOD
Oct. 15 at Bonner Springs
Oct. 22 at De Soto
Oct. 28 PERRY-LECOMPTON
Last Wednesday, THS athletics director Brandon Parker and Tonganoxie football coach Mark Elston traveled to Salina for the meeting.
The two learned of district assignments at 10:15 a.m. and at 10:45 a.m., Tonganoxie's schedules basically were finalized.
But for some schools, especially those in western Kansas, there are fewer teams to choose from so scheduling can be a major ordeal.
"It's about like a stock market or a sold-out game at the fieldhouse with scalpers," Parker said, referring to Allen Fieldhouse during basketball season.
Tonganoxie's schedule didn't take long because all teams on the slate will be Kaw Valley League foes next fall. That's helpful when a team is in a 10-member conference.
The Chieftains will take on Lansing, Ward, Piper, Mill Valley, Santa Fe Trail, Basehor-Linwood, Bonner Springs, De Soto and Perry-Lecompton in that order. That means the Chieftains' new district will include Bonner Springs, De Soto and Perry-Lecompton.
No other sport brings all schools together on one day to decide schedules for the next two years. That's because no other sport has the last portion of its regular-season schedule determine whether teams advance in the playoffs.
Tonganoxie has faced Lansing, Basehor-Linwood and Piper in district play for the last few years, but now takes on a Bonner Springs team that's dropping down from Class 5A to 4A in football next season. De Soto will move to the Frontier League next season but will take on the Chieftains next season in De Soto for the second week of district play. Although Perry-Lecompton is in the KVL, the Chieftains haven't faced the Kaws for the past two years.
Only one other game will be different from this season's schedule -- Bishop Ward. The Cyclones are expected to join the KVL next season.
Wamego and Immaculata have been taken off the schedule to make room for BWHS and Perry-Lecompton.