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Local high schools choose traditional seasons

Karl Zinke
The Examiner

All local Eastern Jackson County high schools have decided not to opt for the alternate fall season next spring.

The Missouri State High School Activities Association announced its district pairings for the regular fall season Monday and all of the local schools are listed.

Because of the COVID-10 pandemic, MSHSAA in August gave schools the option of an alternate fall season that would begin March 12 and conclude by May 1. Any school opting for that season instead of the traditional fall season would automatically also be included in an alternate spring season that would start May 14 and conclude July 10.

Schools had until Sept. 11 to announce their intention of using the alternate seasons or remaining with the traditional seasons. All 10 local high schools were listed in the district assignments handed out by MSHSAA Monday.

Mary Kroening, the St. Michael the Archangel Catholic activities director, said they wanted to give their athletes a chance to compete while they could.

“The reason we are staying on course is that with COVID, nothing is guaranteed,” Kroening said. “We are getting games in right now and no one knows exactly if it will be any better come the alternate fall season. We want to give our athletes, especially our seniors, every opportunity to play. Every practice and game that our teams partake in is a gift – we don't want to miss out on those moments. Our administration has taken the steps to make sure that we have procedures in place that keeps our athletes and coaches safe.”

In football, Blue Springs, Blue Springs South and Lee’s Summit North remained in Class 6. Blue Springs and Blue Springs South are in District 4, paired with Liberty and Liberty North, Columbia Hickman and Columbia Rock Bridge, Park Hill and Troy Buchanan.

Lee’s Summit North is in District 3 along with district rival Lee’s Summit West, Rockhurst and Raymore-Peculiar. The Southwest Missouri schools of Joplin, Nixa and Springfield Kickapoo are also included.

Grain Valley football moves up to Class 5 for the first time and is paired with new Suburban Middle Six Conference opponents Truman and William Chrisman in District 7. Raytown, Belton, Ruskin and Sedalia Smith-Cotton round out that district.

Fort Osage remains in Class 5, paired in District 8 with the Northland schools of North Kansas City, Oak Park, Park Hill South, Platte County, Staley and St. Joseph Central.

Van Horn remains in Class 4, and is paired with Center, Kansas City East, Grandview, Lincoln Prep and Raytown South in District 7.

Oak Grove remains in Class 3. The Panthers are in District 7 with Odessa, Pleasant Hill, Pembroke Hill, Summit Christian Academy, Kansas City Southeast and Knob Noster.

St. Michael the Archangel Catholic is in Class 2 District 7 with Lone Jack, Butler, Hogan Prep, Holden, Versailles and Warsaw.

In softball, Blue Springs South will not have a chance to defend its back-to-back Class 4 state titles because it is part of the new Class 5. The Jaguars are paired with rival Blue Springs and Fort Osage, Truman, Lee’s Summit North, Lee’s Summit and Raytown in the new Class 5 District 7.

The Grain Valley and William Chrisman softball teams are in Class 4 District 7. Oak Grove and St. Michael the Archangel Catholic are in Class 3 District 7.

In boys soccer, Blue Springs and Blue Springs South are paired with both Columbia schools, Hickman and Rock Bridge, in Class 4 District 9. Fort Osage and Truman are in Class 4 District 14 with Rockhurst and Raytown. Lee’s Summit North is in District 13 with Lee’s Summit, Lee’s Summit West and Ray-Pec.

Van Horn and Chrisman soccer are in Class 3 District 14 with St. Michael and Raytown South. Oak Grove is in Class 2 District 7.

In volleyball, Blue Springs, Blue Springs South, Fort Osage and Truman are all in the new Class 5 and are paired together in District 14. Lee’s Summit North is also in Class 5, in District 13 with Lee’s Summit, Raytown and state power St. Teresa’s Academy.

The Grain Valley, Van Horn, William Chrisman and St, Michael the Archangel volleyball teams are in Class 4. Grain Valley and St. Michael are in District 13 with Marshall and Warrensburg, while Van Horn and Chrisman are in District 15 with Winnetonka and St. Pius X. Oak Grove volleyball is in Class 3 District 14.

Girls tennis has a new Class 3, which includes Blue Springs, Blue Springs South and Truman (District 7) and Lee’s Summit North (District 6). Grain Valley (District 7) and Fort Osage and William Chrisman (District 8) are part of Class 2. St. Michael is in Class 1 District 14.

Girls golf has gone from two classes to four. Blue Springs South and Lee’s Summit North are in Class 4 District 3, and Blue Springs is in Class 4 District 4. Fort Osage, Truman and William Chrisman are part of the new Class 3 District 4, and Grain Valley is in District 2 with mostly central Missouri schools. St. Michael is in Class 1 District 2.

Cross country has gone from four to five classes this year. Blue Springs South and Grain Valley (District 5) and Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit North and Truman (District 7) and Fort Osage (District 8) are in the new Class 5. Van Horn (District 7) and Chrisman (District 8) are in Class 4, and Oak Grove and St. Michael are in Class 2 District 7.