Kudos to local schools shaking up the sports schedule by adding old rivals and big neighbors. It was cool to see Hanover head to Belleville to take on the Republic County Buffaloes, who they haven’t played since Belleville High School was in the Blue Valley League. And it is hard to believe Clifton-Clyde and Concordia don’t face off every once in a while in basketball, but even though they’re just 15 miles away from each other, evidently the girls have never played and the boys have not played since 1929.
Not only did our local teams schedule these unusual matchups against bigger schools, they went in and won.
Our volleyball teams occasionally head to tournaments with bigger schools. Washington County has competed at Marysville and Concordia over the years. Linn used COVID tournament changes last fall to sched-ule a trip out west to see some new faces in Logan.
It would be nice if we could see this more often. The local teams don’t have much say in the matter during football season, with those schedules mostly being determined by their KSHSAA district. But in the other sports, especially track and field, we tend to play the same teams over and over and over. It gets to the point during track season that you can pretty much determine who is going to win most events, because we’ve seen the same competitors multiple times earlier in the season.
The Nebraksa state line seems to act like a wall, but it doesn’t have to. Diller-Odell would be a natural fit for many of our sports and Hanover does occasionally play them. A little further travel north could give our teams some entirely new looks. Clifton-Clyde played football against a Nebraska team not so long ago.
Clifton-Clyde’s games against Concordia and Hanover’s games against Republic County should just be the start. Athletic directors should mix things up and give our local teams some variety in their schedules. It would give us a taste of some different competition, but in general, it would also be fun!
— D. Thalmann