Voluntary BVSW transfers ineligible to play varsity during fall semester

Students choosing to transfer to Blue Valley Southwest High School will not be able to play varsity sports during their first semester, according to BVSW Athletic Director Gary Howard.
“It is a state law that any time a student transfers to a new school, they are not allowed to play in a varsity sport their first 18 weeks there,” he said.
This means students choosing to transfer will only be allowed to participate in the second half of winter sports and spring sports.
For players involved in winter sports, this means they’ll play junior varsity to start the season. Athletes can move up to varsity at the coaches’ discretion after 18 weeks.
Howard, currently a Blue Valley West assistant principal, does not agree with the rule regarding transfer students in varsity sports.
“I would like it to change and for kids to play varsity as soon as they can,” he said.
Sophomores required to change schools are still hesitant about what it will be like to play there. Sophomore Jake Hackney currently plays varsity soccer for BV and lives in the BVSW attendance area. He has mixed feelings about the move.
“I do look forward to the new school and I don’t,” Hackney said. “I do because it’s a brand new school and facility, but I don’t because I am leaving all the friends and tradition here at Blue Valley.”
Hackney also seemed a little uncertain about what it would be like to play with kids from BVW.
“It will be interesting to see what goes on the first few weeks but eventually I think we will all get along and try to play as a team,” he said.
Sophomore track athlete Ellie Stewart is looking forward to the chance to compete with student rivals from BVW instead of against them for once.
“I am excited to go to school with kids from West because it will give us a chance to be friends with, who are right now, our biggest enemies on the field,” Stewart said.
For sophomore Sarah-Margaret Heffernon, whose family has attended BV, it will be especially tough to leave.
“Right now I don’t really want to go to Southwest because everyone on my dad’s side of the family has gone to Blue Valley,” she said.
Heffernon played JV softball for the Tigers last year and will play her final year at BV with the team before becoming a BVSW Timberwolf.
“I think that if we started at one school that’s where we should graduate, because if you spend two years at one and two years at another you didn’t really go to one in particular,” she said. “I think once I get there I will get used to it and end up loving it but it will just take time.”
According to the BVSW website, the school will be a member of the Eastern Kansas League (EKL) for athletics and probably open as a large 4A school. Varsity home games will be played at BVSW except for football, which will play at the District Activity Complex, at BVHS. by Chris Roche.