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Area schools placed in new conference
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After months of searching, high schools from Hoisington and Larned were both placed in the Central Kansas League by the Kansas State High School Activities Association.
The decision on where the remnants of the Mid-Central Activities Association would go was made last Thursday by the KSHSAA executive board. Hoisington and Larned will go to the Central Kansas League, and Thomas More Prep-Marian will go to the Mid-Continent League.
“We did get accepted into the CKL along with Hoisington,” Larned athletic director Wayne Morrow said. “TMP was placed with MCL. It was where we wanted to go all along.”
Hoisington and Larned have been applying to a number of conferences for months before petitioning the KSHSAA to be placed in a league.
“We tried getting into several leagues since November,” Hoisington athletic director Joel Mason said. “All three teams had to be placed. I think its a perfect fit for us.”
The change, which was necessitated by Ellinwood’s acceptance into the Central Prairie League, won’t go into effect until the 2014-15 school year. The two years will give the league time to discuss how it wants to accommodate the additions.
“We don’t actually change leagues for another two years,” Morrow said. “There are a lot of answers that we still don’t know. There will be 12 teams in the league now. We’ll probably be meeting to decide how we want to handle it.
“It’s possible that we’ll separate the league into two divisions. That would allow for some creativity for scheduling basketball. We could have one big 12-team track meet. We could have one big wrestling tournament. It will be interesting when it all pans out.”
Mason echoed Morrow’s thoughts on the possibility of divisions for the 12-team league, which includes Pratt, Nickerson, Lyons, Kingman, Smoky Valley, Sterling, Hillsboro, Hesston, Haven, Halstead, Hoisington and Larned.
“With 12 schools, we could actually have two six-school divisions,” Mason said. “With that, travel will be greatly reduced.”
Both athletic directors sounded optimistic about the competition that the Central Kansas League would produce.
Mason said the Cardinals will be reunited with some old rivals.
“Over the past several decades, we’d been in a league with Larned and Pratt,” Mason said. “We’ve kind of drifted away from Pratt, but now we’ll be back together.
“Lyons and Sterling were in the same league with us before my time. I think Nickerson was, too. We’ve been in leagues with most of these schools at one time or another. Hopefully, we can renew some rivalries and build some new ones.”
Morrow said the Indians were hoping to turn over a new leaf heading into the new league.
“It really is the league that fits best for us,” Morrow said. “There will be six (Class) 4A schools, five 3A schools and one 2A school. I think we’re about to turn a corner where we can be competitive.”