Like Pratt High School a few years ago, Liberty Middle School is looking for a new activities league and for the same reasons. They need to find a competitive athletic schedule with schools of similar size, within a reasonable driving distance.
The school is currently in the Southern Kansas League, with Colwich, St. Marks, Andale and Medicine Lodge. Kingman is in the process of leaving, and Clearwater pulled out a year ago. Only Medicine Lodge Middle School and LMS play football.
That makes it very difficult to fill out a schedule, Principal Tony Helfrich said at Monday’s Board of Education meeting.
LMS has asked to join the middle school version of Central Kansas League, the same league to which Pratt High belongs, and Central Plains League and were rejected by both. While CKL schools agreed to come west to Pratt at the high school level, they have apparently drawn the line at traveling that far for middle school games, Helfrich said. Many of the Central Plains schools are smaller than LMS.
The next step will be to petition the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) to place LMS in the CKL. Helfrich, outgoing activities director Andy Kisner and incoming director Ron Hill plan to attend the next meeting of the KSHSAA executive board.
Helfrich said that LMS understands that KSHSAA rarely gets involved in middle school league placement, but noted, “we pay dues to KSHSAA, as do all middle schools.
“It’s a slow process,” he acknowledged. “We won’t come out of the meeting with a decision.”