Goodbye to District Play
In some ways more than others, the ending of KSHSAA 6 & 5A District play will a blessing of sorts after 36 seasons.
Since 1980, the KSHSAA instilled a playoff system that would help the schools from both the West and East benefit greatly at the time. Prior to this district format, a points system (that included league games/wins, and non-conference opponents) all factored into play.
During this time, Olathe South had yet to be built, as well as many other high schools in Northeast Johnson County and a handful west of Topeka before the population growth, as well as enrollments skyrocketing in counties across the state.
During the 2004 season, the KSHSAA finally voted in to allow the top 2 teams out of each of the eight (8), four (4) team Districts. These Districts, since the 1980-81 school year were designed for geographical purposes as well as enrollments for all classes. Specific School District's had really nothing to do with the system, as it was implemented to benefit each school.
For years, we have been fortunate to see many 3-0 schools go on like most to advance on to week-10 and beyond, while the 2-1 (#2 seed) as well could make some playoff noise. Due to point differential if a school was even at 1-2, could get in ahead of the 2-1 team.
A prime example of this was the 2002 SM East vs SM South week-9 rivalry game. BV North, and Wyandotte were also in this District, both having bowed out early on. Both schools managed 2-1 records, while slugging it in to get to the next round. At the conclusion of the game, the Raiders were believed to be District Champions and move on to the playoffs. In the end, South had to return their Championship to the Lancers due to most points scored. This is one of many awful ways to have gotten in, while the Lancers were 3-6 going in to the playoffs, and the Raiders were also 3-6.
The last few years, a handful of teams in the West side of the brackets finished at 1-8 and still managed to get in. This happened due to scoring 60+ points in a single game, making up for the points for in the previous two losses.
With only two more weeks in the District to go, I will have a future post explaining what the format will be, and how the Sunflower, and our local neighbors in the EKL will move forward. It could wait until the Football playoffs are over with, as moving that too far ahead will be more beneficial to the 2016-17 school year and Football season.
Change is a pain to get used too, but it is not our call to make this happen.