Jaguars reign again as KVL’s top sports school
The results have been tabulated, the points distributed and it should come as no surprise that — once again — Mill Valley is king of the Kaw Valley League.
The Jaguars won six league titles during the 2009-2010 school year, helping them capture The World Company Newspapers’ KVL Athletics Department of the Year award for the sixth time in seven years.
Mill Valley 112
Bonner Springs 59
Santa Fe Trail 58
Bishop Ward 54
• League champions in each sport received a point for the number of KVL teams participating in that sport. For example, if just six schools fielded a team, the league champ was awarded six points. In that scenario, second place gets five points, third gets four points and so on.
• If a team tied for a certain place (such as the two-way tie for sixth in girls basketball), points were awarded by adding the points for that place (sixth) with the points for other slots occupied (seventh) by another tying team(s). That number (5+4=9, in this example) was divided by the number of tying teams (two) to reach the points awarded for a tie (4.5).
No matter the sport, it seemed the Jaguars were title contenders. They finished no worse than fifth in the league standings in any sport. A dominant spring where they won league championships in softball, boys and girls track and girls soccer and added a third-place finish in baseball — one victory shy of a tie for first place — helped Mill Valley earn breathing room against closest rival Lansing.
Here is a school-by-school breakdown of the past year.
1. Mill Valley
League crowns in boys and girls cross country in the fall set the tone for Mill Valley’s year-long success and the Jags ended on an even higher note in the spring with four more KVL titles — in girls soccer, softball and boys and girls track.
But what set Class 5A MVHS (112 points) apart from runner-up Lansing (99 points) in the KVL ADOY standings was its incredible consistency across the board. The Jaguars’ teams finished in the top half of the league standings in all 14 sports. Mill Valley was in the top three in 10 different sports — volleyball placed second and boys soccer, baseball and golf were third.
LHS nearly matched Mill Valley with five league titles of its own as the perennial KVL powers combined to lock up 11 of the year’s 14 championships. The Lions sat atop of the standings in boys soccer, volleyball, girls basketball, wrestling and baseball — clipping longtime baseball powerhouse and Class 4A state champion Bishop Ward in a tiebreaker.
With second-place finishes in girls cross country, girls soccer and boys track, plus third-place finishes in softball and girls track, Lansing matched MVHS with 10 top-three spots. Ultimately, however, finishing near the bottom in three different sports detracted the 5A Lions from keeping pace with the Jags in the overall standings.
BLHS — the top Class 4A program this year — was the only other school to win multiple KVL titles in 2009-10. The Bobcats’ 7-1 mark in football and undefeated march through the boys basketball schedule helped propel Basehor-Linwood to third place in the overall standings after three straight years of finishing fourth.
This is the Bobcats’ best showing ever in the rankings.
If postseason play had been part of the KVL ADOY award equation, BLHS would have received a boost from the softball team’s state title. The squad’s second-place finish in the league still helped, though, as did the state tournament qualifying girls basketball team’s position as KVL runner-up.
After occupying the No. 3 spot in the athletics department standings the past two years, the Chieftains dropped to fourth this time around. THS didn’t win any league titles, but it had two teams (golf and girls track) take second place and three more (volleyball, boys basketball and boys track) finish third.
What hurt Tonganoxie — and allowed rival BLHS to jump ahead in the overall standings — was finishing next-to-last in four different sports. On the other hand, the lack of dead-last finishes gave the Chieftains an edge (4.5 points in the overall standings) over the fifth-place program.
Outside of this year’s top three schools, Piper was the only other program to earn a KVL title, winning the league’s rain-shortened golf tournament in May. That championship, along with a third-place finish in football, helped the Pirates move up two spots from last year’s seventh overall finish.
6. Bonner Springs
Like PHS, the Braves improved two spots in the overall standings from a year ago, even though they only had one team finish in the top three in ’09-’10 — the BSHS wrestling team took third place at the KVL tournament. Bonner Springs also took fourth in boys cross country and boys soccer.
The Braves appear poised to continue their climb toward the upper half of the league, however, as a strong core of underclassman athletes emerged this year.
7. Santa Fe Trail
In the Chargers’ KVL swan song — SFT will not compete in the league beginning this fall — they managed a pair of second-place finishes, in boys cross country and boys basketball.
8. Bishop Ward
The Cyclones won a Class 4A state championship in baseball but finished second in the KVL this past spring. The program’s only other top-three season came in girls basketball, when BWHS was third.
Like the Chargers, the Kaws just finished their final year in the KVL. Unfortunately for PLHS, it ended on a sour note. Perry-Lecompton had one top-three finish (second place in boys soccer) and the program dropped three spots from last year’s overall standings.
In just its second year competing in the KVL, Turner again finished dead last in the overall standings despite being one of the league’s largest schools in terms of enrollment. Second-place finishes in football and wrestling highlighted a year that featured last-place finishes in four other sports.