Still No. 1
The Kaw Valley League changed slightly since last year after De Soto bolted for the Frontier League and Bishop Ward took De Soto's place.
But from the top of the hill, the view looks the same: Mill Valley once again is the premier program in the Kaw Valley League.
Last year, in the inaugural edition of The Mirror's Kaw Valley League Athletics Department of the Year, Mill Valley was deemed the best program in the league. Last year, the Jaquars accumulated 113 points. This season, the Jags followed up with 115.
During the 2003-04 school year, the Jaguars won eight league titles. This year, the program had five, but followed up with four second-place finishes. The juggernaut from Shawnee finished no worse than third in any sport except girls basketball, in which Mill Valley finished eighth in the 10-team league.
Mill Valley's closest competitor was Lansing, which scored 92. Tonganoxie was a close third with 90. THS also scored 90 last year, when the Chieftains tied Lansing for second place.
Mill Valley 115
Santa Fe Trail 72
Bonner Springs 64
The rest of the KVL basically finished where it did last year, aside from Santa Fe Trail, which had a better finish in 2004-05. The Chargers tallied 72 points this year, good for fourth place. In 2003-04, SFT scored 62 and finished seventh.
Like Tonganoxie, Bonner Springs stayed consistent from last year. Bonner Springs again finished fifth. The Braves scored 64 this year, one less than last season.
Basehor-Linwood, Piper, Bishop Ward, Perry-Lecompton and Immaculata rounded out the bottom five teams.
Mill Valley, in Class 5A, was the largest school in the league with 594 students in grades 10 through 12. Immaculata, in Class 2A, had 124 in those grades. Mill Valley was the top KVL program, while Immaculata finished last.
Lansing, which placed second in the league, also was the second-largest school in the league with 510 students. The Lions competed in 5A for the first time in 2004-05.
The next largest school, Bonner Springs with 500, finished in the middle of the pack. Tonganoxie, which is the fifth-largest school in the KVL, finished slightly higher than its position in enrollment.
¢ Schools earn points for each sport in which they participate.
¢ League champions received 10 points, runners-up earn nine and so on.
¢ If a team was tied for a certain place, each squad received the same point total, but the next place received its normal score. For instance, if two teams tied for first, each team would receive 10 points. The third-place team, however, would earn eight points.
In football, teams are divided into large school and small school divisions.
Santa Fe Trail was the only small-school representative to crack the top five in the overall league standings. Basehor-Linwood, meanwhile, was the only large school program not in the top five -- but the Bobcats placed sixth in the league standings.
On the other hand
Although Immaculata finished last in point standings, another statistic shows that the team has a competitive program.
Immaculata's average score per sport was 6.1, which put them in fifth place, just behind Santa Fe Trail at 6.5 and Tonganoxie at 6.9.
The average score is calculated by taking the school's point total and dividing that by the number of sports it competes in.
While six KVL teams compete in 13 sports, Immaculata competes in just eight.
Bonner Springs competes in 12, while Bishop Ward and Santa Fe Trail field 11 teams each.
Mill Valley and Lansing still held the top two spots with 8.8 and 7.1 points respectively, while Perry-Lecompton had the lowest per-sport total with 3.9.
Some KVL programs also compete in girls soccer and compete in the Northeast Kansas League. Lansing, Immaculata, Mill Valley, Piper and Basehor-Linwood all compete in that league with Kansas City Christian, De Soto, Harmon, Maranatha, Ottawa and Kansas City-Washington.
League standings for girls soccer, however, are not figured into the athletics department-of-the-year statistics.
To have a sport count toward the all-sports standings, the league must have a majority of KVL school competing, or six squads. The NEKL has five teams from the KVL.
Lansing won the NEKL with a 10-0 league record and 13-4 overall record. Immaculata finished second, Mill Valley third and Piper fourth. Basehor-Linwood placed 10th out of 11 teams.
De Soto placed fourth in last year's overall standings. But, as it was reported earlier, the Wildcats were replaced by new league member Bishop Ward when De Soto opted for the Frontier League.
Ward, in its first year in the KVL, finished eighth with 55 points, but also had the league's lone state title -- in baseball. The Cyclones captured their third consecutive 4A state crown last month.
Bishop Ward was the only league program to produce a state title, but other squads also made state appearances.
The Lansing volleyball team advanced to state last fall, as did the Mill Valley girls cross country team. In the winter, the Tonganoxie girls basketball team earned a berth at the state tournament, while Santa Fe Trail and Lansing also advanced to state with teams that were top teams at regionals.
And in the spring, Basehor-Linwood's softball team joined Ward as a state qualifier.
As for teams that placed at state, the KVL had five -- Mill Valley girls cross country (fifth), Tonganoxie girls basketball (fourth), Lansing wrestling (sixth), Santa Fe Trail wrestling (sixth) and Bishop Ward baseball (first).