Bishop Seabury athletic programs joining newly formed Kaw Valley Conference

photo by: Chad Lawhorn

The campus of Bishop Seabury Academy in Lawrence, 4120 Clinton Parkway, is pictured in July 2019.

Bishop Seabury Academy’s athletic teams are officially joining a conference.

Beginning in the fall of 2021, Seabury will compete in the newly formed Kaw Valley Conference, the school announced this week.

The KVC will include five other schools — Heritage Christian Academy in Olathe, KC Christian in Prairie Village, Cair Paravel Latin School in Topeka, Maranatha Academy in Shawnee and Bishop Ward in Kansas City, Kan.

The new association brings together schools that are similar in size, academics and athletic prowess, according to a news release from Seabury announcing the formation of the conference.

Seabury Athletic Director Eric Nelson told the Journal-World that he had been working to get the Seahawks into some kind of athletic/activities conference “off and on for the past five or six years.”

Nelson’s reasons for wanting to find Seabury’s sports teams a permanent home go beyond the scheduling benefits and sense of belonging typically associated with leagues and conferences.

“Playing in a conference will give our kids an intermediate goal,” Nelson told the Journal-World. “Being the best of 64 Class 2A schools (and) winning state is the ultimate goal, but having something to shoot for that is slightly more attainable will be a nice incentive when a state championship is not realistic.”

The Kaw Valley Conference is a marriage of schools and athletic programs that have competed against one another as independents for years.

“This particular group of schools are all familiar foes for us,” Nelson said. “And it will be really fun to see each of them more regularly with the potential for higher stakes within the conference.”

While the various Seabury sports programs will move forward with annual conference schedules, Nelson said the small membership would preserve Seabury’s flexibility of being able to compete against schools from outside of Class 2A on a regular basis.

“The conference schedule will be a positive change,” Nelson said.

Founded in 1997, Seabury currently offers girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys soccer and girls golf in the fall; boys and girls basketball and boys swimming in the winter; and boys and girls track, boys golf, boys tennis, girls swimming and girls soccer in the spring.


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