School to switch to Sunflower League

All activities and sports will be moving to the Sunflower League in the 2020-21 school year

Katya Gillig, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief

Mill Valley will be moving to the Sunflower League for all activities in the 2020-21 school year. The move comes three years after the school switched to the Eastern Kansas League.

One of the main reasons for switching leagues was to play more 6A teams, according to athletic director Jerald VanRheen.

“The advantages [of the move is] you’re exposed to that 6A competition more often and … the Sunflower League is an entirely 6A league,” VanRheen said.

During the process of switching leagues, VanRheen gave a presentation on the school, highlighting its strengths.

“We talked about our strengths that we had. The strength of this school is the students, the teachers and the families of those students,” VanRheen said “The people is what makes Mill Valley what it is.”

VanRheen believes that the league matches well with the school’s existing programs.

“I think the Sunflower [League] will be a good fit for us just in terms of programs offered and competition levels non-athletically,” VanRheen said. “I think they offer some of the programs we are used to competing in and enjoy so I think there’s some natural rivalries that might come out of joining the Sunflower League.”

VanRheen thinks that the overall competition in the Sunflower League is comparable to the EKL, as the top teams in the Sunflower League are “just as good” as the top teams in the EKL.

For head volleyball coach Debbie Fay, the league switch will help the team be more successful in the postseason.

“Those same teams we play in the league we will quite possibly have to go through to get to state, which is obviously our ultimate goal for volleyball,” Fay said.

Wrestling coach Travis Keal agrees, as there are many advantages to being exposed to more 6A competition.

“I think it will be a good change with more opportunities for all programs especially since we are 6A,” Keal said. “We need to be around 6A schools.”

Overall, VanRheen believes that the move will bring positive change.

“I think we’re going to have a good experience in the Sunflower League,” VanRheen said. “I really do.”

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