Bulldog football schedule changes
There's going to be a new look to the Frontier League this year and that's obvious from Baldwin High School's football schedule that was just released.
Gone from the schedule are Anderson County, Perry-Lecompton and Topeka Hayden. Perry and Hayden were district opponents. Those two schools have been replaced in the district slate by Spring Hill and Eudora. Wellsville has been added to the regular schedule after several years where the natural rivalry with Baldwin has been missing. Also rejoining the schedule as a regular season game is Ottawa.
"There's a big difference," said BHS football coach Mike Berg about the league and the schedule. "We've got (Class) 3A up to 5A. Most of us are 4A and are in the middle.
"Ottawa is in our league now. They are in the big class with us," said Berg. "We also worked it out to play Wellsville, too."
There are now 13 teams in the league, up from 10. Added to the league are Ottawa, DeSoto and Central Heights. Ottawa joins the big school division, which has five other teams. Those are BHS, Gardner, Spring Hill, Paola and Louisburg. There are seven teams in the small school division -- Eudora, Central Heights, DeSoto, Wellsville, Anderson County, Prairie View and Osawatomie.
BHS will jump into the big-school play right away, opening up against Class 5A Gardner on Sept. 3, followed by Paola on Sept. 10 and Louisburg on Sept. 24, two other Class 5A schools.
"We play three 5A team in the first four weeks," he said. "We're with the big boys, the big classes. I think it will tell us a lot very quickly.
"I think playing a tougher schedule can help you and it can hurt you," said Berg. "You have to stay healthy. I'm excited about it."
The break in the 5A string is the Sept. 17 game against Wellsville. That game will be at Liston Stadium as the rivalry is renewed. The Gardner game is also at Liston, while the Paola and Louisburg games are on the road.
The Ottawa game opens the October portion of the schedule on Oct. 1 at home. A trip to Prairie View Oct. 8 closes out the non-district slate.
District play opens Oct. 15 at home against Spring Hill. That's followed by away games at Santa Fe Trail on Oct. 22 and at Eudora on Oct. 28.
BHS finished second in the district last year, then beat Eudora in the first round of the playoffs and Piper in the second round. The string ran out the following week at Fort Scott as the Bulldogs finished with a 9-3 record, their best finish since the early 1990s.