Seaman Schools latest to exit Centennial Leauge

Published: Jun. 8, 2020 at 9:23 PM CDT
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It's official - Seaman schools are the latest to exit the Centennial League.

The USD 345 Board of Education voted unanimously Monday night to join the United Kansas Conference. The Vikings would begin competition in the league in the 2022-2023 school year.

"The Centennial League as we once knew it is no longer," Seaman Athletic Director Steve Bushnell told 13 NEWS. "We just felt like it was in the best interests of our student athletes and our high school, our sports programs and the student body, as well as our community. It was the thing that we needed to do."

Topeka West also joins the league in 2022-2023. Shawnee Heights became a member in 2018.

Five other member schools are in the Kansas City area: Basehor-Linwood, De Soto, Lansing, Leavenworth, and Turner.

Information provided to the board states joining UKC allows a full schedule for freshman through varsity levels, where they currently must look outside the league to fill all the slates. It also notes playing against all 5A schools, instead of the four 6A schools in the Centennial League.

The board document states travel times would remain fairly equal, especially when considering teams the Centennial League may add. The new league will cost an additional $1,950 annually in league fees.

The UKC was the preferred choice of the school's coaches, with a 9-4 vote, according to the board document.

"It's always difficult to leave and to move away from so many good schools, great coaches, great athletic directors," Bushnell said. "You kind of do that with mixed emotions."

Bushnell says he hopes to maintain city rivalries through non-conference match ups with schools like Topeka High, Washburn Rural, and Hayden.

Highland Park also is said to be considering leaving the Centennial League.

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