Changes in store for 2006-07 slates
The Tonganoxie High girls basketball team will play in a different tournament this year.
And the THS softball squad, fresh off its first state appearance in school history, has added a team to its schedule that is no stranger to state tournaments.
These are just two schedule changes that have been made for the 2006-07 academic year.
In girls basketball, the Chieftains will play in the Eudora Tournament early in the season, rather than the Ike Cearfoss Invitational at Central Heights, where the team has competed in early December the last few years. The boys squad, which has competed in the Central Heights tournament, will continue to compete in the tournament at CHHS, which is between Ottawa and Garnett.
"More competitive," THS athletics director Brandon Parker said, explaining why the girls will play in the Eudora tournament rather than Central Heights. "Our girls, right now, can do about all they can do at Central Heights."
Teams such as Eudora, Highland Park and Paola, Parker said, should provide stiff competition.
"When we can beef up the schedule, it will help the kids," Parker said.
In addition, the Tonganoxie tournament field has changed slightly on the girls side, as Metro Academy won't return. Eudora will be its replacement.
The boys and girls brackets now will be identical, as teams from Atchison, Eudora, Jeff West, Immaculata, Lansing, Pleasant Ridge, Silver Lake and Tonganoxie will compete in the January tournaments.
One other foe has changed for both boys and girls teams. De Soto replaces St. Marys on the 2006-07 schedule.
The Chieftain softball team will conclude its 2007 regular season against Silver Lake. The Eagles have won seven state titles. Last spring, SLHS was looking to win its third straight Class 3A crown, but McLouth ousted Silver Lake in the regional finals last May.
"Our league's good, but I think it better prepares these kids for that postseason situation," Parker said.
With the team's competing against each other the last two years in the Tonganoxie Invitational girls championship game, Parker said the competition opens the door for other sports to compete. He hopes the teams can schedule volleyball matches in the future as well.
"Anytime schools have positive experiences with other schools, it's easier to carry it over into other sports," Parker said.
In football, Tonganoxie has been assigned a new district.
Perry-Lecompton again will be in Tonganoxie's district, but Jeff West and Atchison replace Bonner Springs and De Soto as the other two district foes. The Chieftains retained Bonner Springs earlier in this year's schedule, as the Braves are a Kaw Valley League foe.
THS hasn't played Jeff West in recent years, while THS squared off against Atchison in the 2002 and 2003 playoffs. Atchison won both meetings, 28-14 in 2002 and 39-0 in 2003. Both games were played in Atchison, which is where the teams will meet in district play this season.
The schedule most different from last season will be the wrestling team's slate. The grapplers won't make the long trips to Kearney, Neb., and Goodland for tournaments, as they have the past few seasons.
Instead, the team will compete in a tournament in Pleasant Ridge. And, the Kaw Valley League, for the first time, will have a duals meet to start the season.
The KVL meet is the same weekend as the Kearney meet, while Pleasant Ridge is the same weekend as the Goodland tournament, which is in mid-December. Easton is much closer than Goodland, which is western Kansas.
"The timing of the Goodland tournament is around finals, so that's always tough," Parker said.
Of course, one schedule is completely new, because the team is completely new.
The THS girls soccer team will have its inaugural game March 27 against Bonner Springs at Chieftain Park.
Along with games against KVL foes Lansing, Bonner Springs, Mill Valley, Piper, Basehor-Linwood and Immaculata, the team also has games against De Soto, Gardner-Edgerton, Maranatha Academy (Shawnee), Ottawa, Kansas City Christian and St. James Academy (Lenexa).