Mill Valley Returns to top of KVL standings
Lansing High may have won more league titles, but Mill Valley returned to its place on the Kaw Valley League throne for the 2008-2009 school year, earning The World Company Newspapers’ annual KVL Athletics Department of the Year award for the fifth time in the six years of the award’s existence.
Mill Valley won five KVL titles with first-place finishes in football, boys soccer, wrestling and boys and girls track.
Ultimately, that was a major difference in the Jaguars finishing with more points (109.5) than Lansing (102.5) in the overall KVL standings and knocking the Lions — last year’s KVL ADOY winner — from the top.
Lansing won six KVL titles in ’08-’09 but two of those — girls cross country and girls soccer — came in sports that had just six KVL schools participating, which meant the Lions earned six points apiece for those championships. League champs in bigger sports with 10 schools participating — such as volleyball, softball or boys and girls basketball, in which LHS also won league crowns — earned a league champ 10 points. The Jags received 10 points apiece for four of their championships and nine for boys soccer.
Amazingly, the two league powerhouses combined for 11 of the KVL’s 14 sports titles. In the three sports won by other schools, Mill Valley finished higher in boys cross country and golf while Lansing was better in baseball.
That dominance led to significant separation between them and the KVL’s third-place team, Tonganoxie. The Chieftains amassed 82 points for the year, led by second-place finishes at the league’s volleyball and golf tournaments, to finish third overall for the second straight year. THS took third in three sports — girls cross country and boys and girls track.
The gap between third and fourth was nearly as large. Basehor-Linwood took fourth overall for the third straight season by compiling 62.5 points. Although the Bobcats won a Class 4A state championship in boys basketball, postseason accolades aren’t a part of the KVL ADOY equation. BLHS finished second in the league in boys basketball and softball and tied for second with MVHS in girls basketball. The Bobcat girls also defended their state powerlifting title while the boys finished second, but lifting isn’t a league-sponsored event so it didn’t factor into the standings.
Santa Fe Trail was nipping at the heels of BLHS but finished a half-point behind the Bobcats. The Chargers made the biggest jump from last year’s rankings to this year, though, moving from eighth to fifth. SFT was the only school besides MVHS and LHS to win multiple league titles as the Chargers finished first in boys cross country and golf. SFT was second at the KVL wrestling tournament.
Not too far behind was Perry-Lecompton. The Kaws’ 60.5 points placed them sixth for the second straight year. PLHS was second in girls track and finished third in football and softball.
Piper took the biggest hit in the overall standings from last year but dropped just two spots, from fifth to seventh. The Pirates tied for second with Lansing in boys soccer and finished third in boys basketball.
Bonner Springs finished eighth after placing seventh last year. The Braves’ strength came in the running events as they boys track team was second at the KVL meet and the boys cross country team finished third.
In addition, the upstart BSHS girls soccer team tied for third in the league, while BSHS added fourth-place finishes in football, boys soccer and boys golf.
Bishop Ward missed out on some points because it didn’t field cross country, golf or girls soccer teams. But, as usual, the Cyclones’ baseball squad was successful, finishing second.
Although Turner finished last in the overall standings in its first year of KVL competition, the Bears managed to win a league championship in baseball. However, the league’s largest school finished last in five sports.