As we all have read in recent days that Paola AD Jeff Hines has made a proposal to the KSHSAA.
This proposal is a multiplier for the Catholic/Parochial schools across the state of Kansas.
While this is mostly intended to affect the Johnson County 3: Bishop Miege Stags, ST Aquinas Saints, and St. James Academy Thunder, all parochiol's could be affected across the board.
Whether this will change the overall landscape and future of the athletic classes of Kansas High School sports, it is yet to be seen as the Academic higher-ups and Kansas legislature ponder this huge movement all based on enrollment.
During some research now completed in the recent hours at work looking forward to that 8am release time, it is found that in all of the Paola Football schedules from 2010 to 2016 the Bishop Miege Stags have met only once. This happened in week-11 with a road loss to Miege 65-14 drubbing in their 71st game of this decade in 2015. Prior to this game, and all nine games of the 2016 season totaling 80 games in all it seems like an invalid argument. But is it?
Throughout the course of an average Varsity Bishop Miege Stags sports schedule 6 and 5A opponents are consistently played from week to week. Does this give them a challenge or goal to prep for the 4A playoffs? yes it does. Is it a bad thing? not really. Unfortunately, with both Football, and Men's and Woman's Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball, Baseball, and Softball, this is a drive to get better and play for the hardware that the Bishop Miege Student-athlete's want as much as any one else across the State. For the record, all State Title trophies, and Runner up's are the same size, and shape, should that be of any importance at this time.
With all that being said, the Bishop Miege Stags always play up to and above their effort level once it is time for post-season play. Are we to fault them for that? Did s/he do anything wrong? That is not my call to make, and of course my opinion may differ from yours. Just remember that the 4A 3A 1-2A student-athletes are playing for the same trophies as well just with an enrollment 1/18th the size of Bishop Miege, or that of SM West, Olathe South, or even Leavenworth.
In all, the Paola Panthers are 4-2 in 6 games played vs. all Johnson County schools: 2010-2016.
3-1 vs. St. James Thunder - played in 2010, 2011, 2012, & 2013
1-0 vs. BV Southwest Timber-Wolves - played in 2011
0-1 vs. Bishop Miege Stags - played in 2015
As these numbers are played out the Panthers themselves have played successful Football 56-24 overall, and 11-6 in 4A playoffs. In all 80 games, the Panthers are as follows 0-1 vs. the Stags.
Is there still an argument to be had here? Yes there is. In the end, we will all be right, and all be wrong no matter what our final opinion is in this matter.
For the last three years, I have been working with many Coaches, Assistants, Athletic Directors, and more in working to find a solution to for all of our Johnson, Douglass, and Leavenworth High Schools that cover the Sunflower Landscape. Although all team Varsity sports are involved, Football is the beginning point of all Fall activities. Some time in the near future, should these changes go in to effect they will be presented to our viewers.
In the meantime, the Administrations of the Sunflower and Eastern Kansas Leagues mostly located within the Johnson County lines can begin to ponder their Athletic futures. This goes for all involved including Bishop Miege, ST Aquinas, SJ Academy, Gardner-Edgerton, Lawrence, Free State, Mill Valley, Lansing, Leavenworth, and our school still in the oven Olathe West.
With all of this being presented to the KSHSAA and Kansas legislature there is much to discuss in all aspects of the High School game. The Who, What, Where, When, and Why are all factors including enrollment, geography (High School locations), local public opinion of our Student-athletes, parents and where they decide to send their child or children, and a multitude of other issues that will take part in this endeavor.
As for the current state of the Sunflower League, we stand at 12 High Schools with the impending move of the Gardner-Edgerton Trailblazers, who accepted an invite, and the Olathe West Owls who will be grandfathered in to the league bringing us to 14 High Schools.