The start of the 2018-2019 school year brings with it conference realignment for some Wyandotte County high schools. New rivalries will be seen across the fields and courts, and there will be four leagues to follow, instead of only two.
As districts on the western edge of the Kansas City area experienced rapid population growth, some schools found themselves in a competitive disadvantage, due to smaller student populations than long-time rivals. The result was negotiations over the past few years that brought about the disbanding of the Kaw Valley League, formation of the new United Kansas Conference, and inter-conference moves for several other schools around the Kansas City area.
Turner High School, in Class 5A, is now in the newly-created United Kansas Conference, a group of six 4A and 5A schools ranging from Leavenworth to the north over to Topeka’s Shawnee Heights in the west. Turner will be joined in the UKC by former Kaw Valley members Lansing and Basehor-Linwood.
Bonner Springs and Piper high schools have joined the expanding Frontier League, a group of nine 4A schools from the southern and western periphery of the Kansas City area, such as Spring Hill and Baldwin. Former KVL member Tonganoxie will also move to the Frontier League.
Bishop Ward High School, in Class 4A, Division II, will move to the Crossroads Conference, composed of smaller religious and public schools with members in both Kansas and Missouri.
The Kansas City – Atchison League with the 5A and 6A schools from the Kansas City, Kansas, school district is unchanged from previous years.
The schools will compete in their new conferences starting with their fall sports over the next few weeks.
Sporting Kansas City’s defensive struggles continued on Saturday night. FC Dallas forward Michael Barrios stung Kansas City for three goals in a 3 – 2 victory at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.
Dallas scored the only goal of the first half in the 23rd minute. Defender Ike Opara lost the ball in the lights on a long pass forward from Victor Ulloa, allowing Barrios to chip the ball in from 15 yards.
Forward Gerso Fernandes evened the score just after halftime, beating two Dallas defenders on the right wing and then twisting a shot inside the far post.
Dallas moved back in front in the 62nd minute on another long pass forward to Barrios, who beat charging goalkeeper Tim Melia.
Dallas went up by two in the 74th minute when Kansas City’s defense failed to clear the ball after a block, leaving the ball in front of the net for Barrios to clean up.
Sporting made a challenge late in the game, with Daniel Salloi knocking home a rebound off a KC corner kick.
Sixteen-year-old Gianluco Busio made his debut for Sporting KC as a substitute for Felipe Gutierrez in the 77th minute.
The loss marks six games without a win for Sporting KC, sliding back over the past month to nine points behind first-place Dallas in the MLS Western Conference standings. Sporting will play the Houston Dynamo on the road next Saturday.