Although Gardner Edgerton High School leaves behind its common competitors of yesteryear in the Frontier League, the school’s new league home has a history with some of GE’s former Frontier rivals.
“Through the year’s (the EKL) has obviously made big changes,” GEHS Assistant Principal and Activities Director Kent Glaser said. “The league has been around for a long time.”
Paola High School – currently a Frontier League member – initially helped form the EKL in the fall of 1938, according to EKL literature. The new league consisted of four teams including Paola, Washington High School in Kansas City, Kan.; Turner High School in Kansas City, Kan.; and Bonner Springs High School.
In 1940, Osawatomie High School – also a former Frontier League school – joined the league. Olathe High School joined the league in 1947, while Washington High School dropped out in 1954.
Paola and Osawatomie left the league in 1960, but the league was successful in luring Argentine High School from Kansas City, Kan. and Ottawa High School, a current Frontier League school.
In the late 1970s, the league started collecting schools in Johnson County. Bishop Miege High School joined the league in 1973. Blue Valley High School joined the league in 1979, and Olathe South High School joined in 1981, and Olathe North High School joined after the new school was built in the 1980s.
Ottawa bolted from the league in the mid-1980s, and the Olathe schools bailed on the league in 198 – the same year St. Thomas Aquinas joined the EKL. As the Blue Valley School District added high schools, the league continued to grow.
With the addition of Gardner Edgerton High School and Blue Valley Southwest High School this fall, the Eastern Kansas League will have eight-member schools.
Glaser said coaches and GEHS students are looking forward to competing in the new league.
“We’ll be bringing a lot to this league and there will be a lot this league can offer us too,” Glaser said.
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