With the season in full force, the Blue Valley football program has made the move up to the Kansas 6A division official.
The Tiger football team has joined all other Blue Valley sports in the 6A Division, the largest in the state of Kansas.
While all other BV sports moved to 6A last season, football’s move was pushed to this season.
Athletic Director Matt Ortman said this delay was due to football’s layout.
“Football is on a two-year cycle basis because it has a unique scheduling system,” he said.
Ortman said the state has a simple procedure for determining how BV was placed in 6A.
“Kansas takes the 32 schools with the biggest populations and puts them in 6A,” Ortman said.
“We’ve grown enough that for the next two-year cycle, we’re moved up to 6A.”
During the regular season, the Tigers will continue to play all of their EKL and district opponents, resulting in a relatively similar schedule each year. In the playoffs, however, the game changes completely.
In the past, BV saw playoff opponents from mainly independent districts, Topeka or the four other Blue Valley Schools.
Now, a whole new group of competitors are in the mix, including teams from larger districts such as Shawnee Mission, Olathe and Wichita.
For the most part, Tiger football fans won’t need to worry about long road trips until the playoffs roll around, when a trek to Wichita or Hutchinson might be in order.
Coach Eric Driskell said while the team is moving to a larger division, it isn’t changing its approach to the game.
“We are still trying to be the best team we can be, and we like to measure ourselves against ourselves,” Driskell said.
The Tigers will be facing teams they haven’t played in nearly a decade — or even at all. Driskell said the team looks forward to its chance to face the unknown.
“It’s exciting to play some new people,” he said. “Obviously, there is some apprehension about it, too, because they’re not known opponents, but we’re excited for the opportunity.”