Suburban Conference realignment: What’s it mean for Lee’s Summit?

The Big Seven will become the Big Six again in the Suburban Conference — and Lee’s Summit is the odd school out.

Lee’s Summit was dropped from the Gold Division to the Red under realignment for 2018-19, which the Suburban Conference announced last week. Lee’s Summit North and Lee’s Summit West will remain in the Gold Division, which was known for many years as the Big Six, along with Blue Springs, Blue Springs South, Park Hill, and Raymore-Peculiar.

Realignment is based on enrollment figures taken last month. Those counts showed Lee’s Summit taking a drop in its number of students, while the other six schools have continued growing.

“We are as small as we have been in several years,” Lee’s Summit athletic director Tracy Bertoncin said. “This is a change we have anticipated. It’s not a change that we’re thrilled about, but it wasn’t a surprise for us.”

Lee’s Summit’s enrollment in mid-October stood at 1,775, down from the 1,823 figure reported last year. Lee’s Summit North’s enrollment was 1,911, up slightly from 1,904 last year, and West was had 2,113 students, up from 2,037 last year.

Bertoncin said the Tigers anticipated the division change, because this year’s freshman class is the smallest in years, she said, though the eighth-grade class is currently 50 students larger. Unlike West and North, where there is still ample area to build new housing, Lee’s Summit no longer has room to grow within its boundaries.

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