More than ever before, high school football won't exclusively be a Friday night staple in these parts.
Several non-Friday games are slated for local and area high schools this fall, including four Thursday games for Free State High.
Two of the Firebirds' Thursday contests -- Sept. 9 against Olathe East and Oct. 7 against Olathe Northwest -- are at Kansas University's Memorial Stadium, and were bumped up a day to avoid conflict with KU home games.
The other two are Thursday games because the Shawnee Mission and Olathe school districts share stadiums. Free State will open its season Thursday, Sept. 2 at Shawnee Mission North. The Firebirds also have a Thursday, Sept. 30, game against Olathe South at the Olathe District Activities Center.
Thursday games would seem to throw a wrench into Free State's preparations, but coach Bob Lisher knows there's not much that can be done about it.
"Coaches and players and everybody likes to have a routine," Lisher said. "We'll have to adjust practices, and practice on some Saturdays. We'll get the same amount of work in."
Lawrence High will have one Thursday game. It's on Sept. 23 against Shawnee Mission East. That game will be played at SM South.
|Lawrence HighSept. 3 -- at Leavenworth, 7 p.m.Sept. 10 -- Olathe North, 7:30 p.m.Sept. 17 -- SM North, 7:30 p.m.Sept. 23 -- at SM East, 7 p.m.Oct. 1 -- at SM South, 7 p.m.Oct. 8 -- Olathe South, 7:30 p.m.Oct. 15 -- at Washburn Rural, 7 p.m.Oct. 22 -- Free State, 7:30 p.m.Oct. 29 -- Topeka High, 7:30 p.m.All home games at Haskell StadiumFree StateSept. 2 -- at SM North, 7 p.m.Sept. 9 -- Olathe East, 7 p.m.Sept. 17 -- SM Northwest, 7 p.m.Sept. 24 -- at SM West, 7 p.m.Sept. 30 -- at Olathe South, 7 p.m.Oct. 7 -- Olathe Northwest, 7 p.m.Oct. 15 -- Topeka High, 7 p.m.Oct. 22 -- at Lawrence, 7:30 p.m.Oct. 29 -- at Washburn Rural, 7 p.m.All home games at Memorial StadiumVeritas ChristianAug. 28 -- K. C., Mo., East, 7 p.m.Sept. 3 -- at Wichita Sunrise, 7 p.m.Sept. 10 -- at Topeka Cair Paravel, 7 p.m.Sept. 17 -- at St. Joseph (Mo.) Christian, 7 p.m.Sept. 24 -- Wichita Trinity, 7 p.m.Oct. 1 -- at Coffeyville Tyro Christian, 7 p.m.Oct. 9 -- at Springfield (Mo.) Christian, 2 p.m.Oct. 15 -- at Wichita Word of Life, 7 p.m.Oct. 22 -- St. Mary's Academy, 7 p.m.All home games at Westwick Rugby Complex|
And, as usual, the last week of the regular season is a Thursday contest for all of the Class 3A and 4A schools in the area. Games are moved up to give players another day of rest before the state playoffs begin the following Tuesday.
That means the Baldwin-Eudora showdown the last week of districts will be a Thursday affair Oct. 28 in Eudora.¢
Jamboree jumble: With every other facility in town booked Aug. 25, Free State is going home for its annual fall sports jamboree.
The Firebirds plan to hold the jamboree on the football field just west of the school. FSHS athletic director Steve Grant said enough bleachers will be moved down by the track to accommodate the fans.
Grant also mentioned the possibility of having a volleyball scrimmage in the nearby main gym, as well as events highlighting soccer and cross country. And, like every year, a short football scrimmage is on the schedule.
Free State can't hold the event at Memorial Stadium, where it plays its home games this year, because KU is having its fan appreciation day at the same time. Haskell Stadium is being used by Lawrence High, which is holding its jamboree the same night.
Last year's Free State jamboree was canceled because of rain.¢
Jags ranked: Mill Valley was the lone local or area school on the preseason state volleyball rankings released by the Kansas Volleyball Assn. this week.
The Jaguars, who advanced to the state tournament last year, weren't among the top five schools ranked in the Class 5A poll, but were one of three teams listed as receiving votes. They were the only area team among the Class 6A, 5A and 4A polls.
Defending Sunflower League champion and state runner-up SM East was the top-ranked team in 6A.