THS, MHS 2006 football slates announced
Tonganoxie and McLouth will meet some old foes on the football field in 2006.
With new districts being drawn up earlier this fall for the 2006 and 2007 seasons, Tonganoxie was paired with Perry-Lecompton, Jeff West and Atchison. The Chieftains had Perry-Lecompton, De Soto and Bonner Springs as their district opponents the last two seasons, so they'll remain with PLHS and add Jeff West and Atchison. Jeff West will be a new foe, while Atchison was a playoff opponent in 2002 and 2003. AHS won both of those first-round meetings against Tonganoxie.
THS, which went 9-2 this season, opens next season Sept. 1 against Lansing and Sept. 8 against Bishop Ward. Both games are at home. This season, THS opened the season on the road with a 14-10 loss to Lansing and then followed that game on the road in Kansas City, Kan., against Ward. The Chieftains won that game, 7-0.
Tonganoxie's 2006 schedule includes seven teams the Chieftains played this season. To make room for Atchison and Jeff West in district play, De Soto and Piper were taken off the schedule, marking the first time in the last few years Tonganoxie will not play the two schools.
As for the new foe, Jeff West, A Mark Elston team hasn't yet faced the Tigers. Elston took over in 2000.
"I've only seen them on film twice," Elston said. "Both times were against Hayden, so I don't know whether that's a true way to measure a team. But I know they've been down the last couple three years."
Atchison, meanwhile, handled Tonganoxie in Atchison twice in the playoffs.
When the Chieftains make a return trip next fall, Amelia Earhart Stadium will have a new look. The school will have artificial turf next year.
"So they're speed will be magnified," Elston said. "Which hopefully ours will be too."
Atchison went 6-3 this season.
"They lost a lot of seniors, thank goodness," Elston said. "They will be extremely athletic."
Tonganoxie actually will play two games on artificial turf next season. Bonner Springs will play its first game on artificial turf when Tonganoxie comes to town Sept. 15 next year.
"We saw on film they broke out orange jerseys for homecoming, so they might break out orange on the first turf game, we don't know," Elston said.
Bonner Springs normally wears black jerseys.
Elston said the new Catholic school in Lenexa, St. James, "really threw a kink in things" with Tonganoxie's district being restructured. Bonner Springs and De Soto certainly were closer opponents than Atchison and Jeff West in district play.
"And the fact that Bonner and Lansing are going to 5A, that really throws a kink in things as well," Elston "I guess geographically if you look at it, that's the only place we could have gone."
Bulldogs to get rematch
In McLouth, the 2006 season will include the only opponent to beat the Bulldogs in 2005.
MHS lost 21-8 to Silver Lake on Nov. 5 in Silver Lake in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs. The loss ended McLouth's year as the Bulldogs finished with a 10-1 record. The teams will have a rematch Oct. 20, 2006, in McLouth. It will be the second week of district play next season.
"I think that we showed that we can play up to that level," Hester said about playing Silver Lake. "It would be a great challenge to have them in our district, but I think our kids went over and showed that we were as good as they are."
Hester is looking forward to the new-look district in 2006. MHS and Silver Lake will join Oskaloosa and Jeff County North in district play.
"I think it's a pretty competitive district," Hester said. "Obviously people are going to pick Silver Lake just because they're Silver Lake, but I think it's going to be interesting."
Like Tonganoxie, seven of McLouth's opponents remain the same in 2006. Immaculata and Maur Hill will be replaced with Jackson Heights and Oskaloosa.
McLouth will look to match this year's undefeated season, but will have to replace 12 seniors in 2006.
"We've got some depth and some kids who will have to get seasoned throughout the year," Hester said.
"We have 11 juniors and 12 sophomores. They're quality players along with two freshmen.
"We'll probably bring in 14 freshmen next year. Our numbers will be about the same. The cupboard's not bare over here in McLouth yet."
2006 Tonganoxie football schedule
Sept. 1 LANSING
Sept. 8 BISHOP WARD
Sept. 15 at Bonner Springs
Sept. 22 MILL VALLEY
Sept. 29 at Santa Fe Trai
Oct. 6 BASEHOR-LINWOOD
Oct. 13 at Perry-Lecompton
Oct. 20 at Atchison
Oct. 26 JEFF WEST
2006 McLouth football schedule
Sept. 1 at Troy
Sept. 8 at Doniphan West
Sept. 15 WATHENA
Sept. 22 VALLEY FALLS
Sept. 29 at Jackson Heights
Oct. 6 PLEASANT RIDGE
Oct. 13 JEFF COUNTY NORTH
Oct. 20 SILVER LAKE
Oct. 26 at Oskaloosa