Bulldogs move up to third
Another Frontier League title is within Baldwin High School's grasp, but it will take a strong effort by five teams this spring.
This championship is the All-League sports standings. It's the unofficial standings of all eight schools according to how each team finished in the Frontier League. The BHS journalism staff began keeping these standings several years ago and the Bulldogs even brought home the title in 2006.
A year ago, Baldwin finished third in the formerly 13-team league. The Bulldogs sit in third place after the fall and winter seasons.
"I think year in and year out, you can count on solid performances by all of our sports teams," said Kit Harris, BHS wrestling coach and journalism teacher. "We have great coaches and kids that work hard. That carries over from sport to sport.
"In the new league, we are one of the smallest, if not the smallest," Harris said. "We have a lot of kids that are standouts in multiple sports. We also have a good weight lifting program with coach (Mike) Berg. I'll bet if you figure out our points per enrollment, we are pretty high."
Eudora is leading with 35 points, while Gardner-Edgerton is in second with 33.5. BHS remains in third with 31.5 points. Ottawa is currently fourth with 28 points.
Leading the way during the winter season was the BHS wrestling squad. The Bulldogs finished runner-up in the league to Gardner-Edgerton. The BHS boys' basketball team placed third in the league this year, while the girls' basketball team finished sixth.
"We had a great regular season," BHS boys' basketball coach Eric Toot said. "We strengthened our schedule and still finished 16-4 in the regular season. We won a lot of close games."
After the fall season, Baldwin fell to fourth in the standings. The Bulldogs might have finished higher in the fall, but the football standings were unable to be used this year.
The football team was in its second year of a two-year cycle for its schedule. Therefore the old league of 13 teams was still in tact. Baldwin would have finished in the top half of the league with its 10-3 record, because it only had a pair of league losses.
Another unusual occurrence in this year's standings is the lack of league titles by the Bulldogs. BHS has finished second in three sports, but for the first time in a decade, neither of the BHS cross country teams won the league championship. Despite no titles, Baldwin remains in third place overall.
"That's unique, because we usually have a couple of cross country league titles in there," Harris said. "We are up there in the standings in most sports, so that helps keep us high in the rankings."
The BHS journalism staff helped collect the league standings for the fall sports teams. Harris said the students enjoy figuring out the rankings.
"Toward the end of each season, one of the journalism kids is assigned to keep it up to date," Harris said. "I'm not sure how many high schoolers are aware of it until an article comes out. It's kind of a fun way to band together as a school with all of our teams."
The only spring sport that doesn't have full league participation is boys' tennis. The other five sports' standings will be tallied after the season and this year's champion will be crowned. Harris is hopeful the spring teams help the Bulldogs reclaim the crown in 2008.
"It's too bad, because we had such a great football season," Harris said. "I think our spring sports are all balanced and will have strong showings. We'll have to take the group effort approach to pull it off."