The Kansas State High School Activities Association recently concluded its 2017 football season by conducting eight state championship games at seven sites.
It is sad many school administrators in Kansas continue to resist efforts to move its football championship games to a single location, especially when many states hold them in one place.
This year, three schools from Johnson County, specifically the Eastern Kansas League, played for state championships. The same was true for the Wichita area, where three Sedgwick County schools advanced to the finals. Instead of being able to watch all three games, the KSHSAA forced them to choose one game to attend in person, while following the other two games via another medium.
The current system discourages many fans who do not have a vested interest in either school from attending, especially if it is in a distant locale.
For instance, Marysville and Sabetha, located only 50 miles apart along US Highway 36, played in this year’s Class 3A championship game. Their title matchup was held in Hutchinson, quite a long haul for the fans of the Bulldogs and Bluejays. Fans in nearby communities probably would have liked to attend, but were discouraged by the prospect of six hours of driving to watch two hours of football.
The best option would be to alternate the championship games between the University of Kansas and Kansas State. Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City and Cessna Stadium in Wichita would also work well.
However, the KSHSAA is averse to holding its championship events, save track and field, at a single locale. It is not fan friendly, but worse, it is not athlete and coach friendly.
DAVID STEINLE, Russell