The good news is, no games matter until the playoffs. The bad news is, no games matter until the playoffs.
The good news is, no games matter until the playoffs. The bad news is, no games matter until the playoffs. At least that is the case for one of six McPherson County teams as the Kansas State High School Activities Association released its district alignment on Wednesday.
For McPherson High School they have been placed in the Class 4A West division with the likes of Buhler, Andover Central, Abilene, Goddard and more. 16 teams make up each the East and the West. All teams will play eight regular-season games that only decided their seeding for week 9, which will now be the opening round of the playoffs in 4A, as it is in 5A and 6A currently.
The Bullpups eight-game schedule now includes opening against Salina South and no Maize South. The remainder of the schedule looks pretty similar and pretty easy overall with Winfield, El Dorado, Abilene, Buhler, Augusta, Rose Hill and Circle making up the remaining seven games, in that order.
Around the rest of McPherson County the biggest changes are for Inman and Moundridge, with the Teutons moving down to the recreated 1A division and the Wildcats dropping all the way from 2A to eight man football. Inman's district opponents include Meade, Sublette and Sedgwick while Moundridge will see Central Plains, Little River, Macksville, Pratt-Skyline and St. John in 8-man Division I, District 5.
One of the most competitive districts to come out of the realignment appears to be the 3A District 5, which is where Smoky Valley landed. Their district includes Chapman, Clay Center, Halstead, Hesston and St. George-Rock Creek. This grouping should certainly create some competitive and meaningful regular season games.
Canton-Galva finds themselves in 8-man Division I, District 4 with Bennington, Goessel, Herington, Peabody-Burns and Solomon. Many of these match ups are already occurring on a non-district basis, while some are already familiar district foes.
District alignments and schedules are done on a two-year cycle by KSHSAA, making these districts applicable for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Schools dropping to eight man football are typically given two years to decide if their move is permanent and adjust their facilities accordingly. This only effect Moundridge in McPherson County in this round of realignment.
"We've been posturing to go 8-man football here the last several years, anticipating lower numbers because of smaller class sizes coming through high school," commented Moundridge Athletic Director Vance Unrau. "We will mark our field regulation 80-yard, 8-man and the field will be 10 yards narrower but we will not move our goal posts. I really don't know how many cycles we will play 8-man; that will be dictated by our numbers."
Contact Matt Cole by email at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MacSentinel