The two-division structure of the newly formed Central Kansas League will reduce the number of long drives to Hillsboro High School athletic events, starting in fall 2010 when the Mid-Central Activities Association dissolves.
The new league includes Hillsboro, Halstead, Haven, Hesston, Kingman, Lyons, Nickerson, Pratt, Smoky Valley, and Sterling. Kingman and Pratt are the only members that were not previously part of MCAA, HHS Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Robert Rempel said.
Hillsboro will be in a division with Halstead, Lyons, Smoky Valley, and Sterling.
Rempel used basketball season to illustrate how the new structure will reduce travel time. HHS will play each of the schools in its division twice each year, at home and away. They will play teams in the other division once each year, alternating home and away.
That means HHS will make the long drives to Kingman and Pratt only one time every two years. Rempel said he would make an effort to keep any games at Pratt on Fridays, to prevent student fatigue during school days.
The impetus to create the CKL came when Pratt, 120 miles away, and Larned, 110 miles away, sought to join the MCAA.
Rempel was concerned that if the school didn’t do something, the Kansas State High School Activities Association would place the schools in the league.
That would be a problem, because if KSHSAA forces a league to accept one or more schools, no school can leave that league for a minimum of three years.
By helping create the CKL, Hillsboro was able to make the change on its own terms.