Newly Formed Big East League Announced

Administration from the Big 7 and Mid-East Leagues have voted to approve a league merger. Beginning in the 2024-2025 school year the Big East League will consist of the following high schools: Hiawatha, Holton, Jefferson West, Nemaha Central, Perry-Lecompton, Riley County, Rossville, Royal Valley, Sabetha, Silver Lake, and St. Marys. Middle school membership will include the aforementioned schools as well as Atchison Middle School.

The Mid-East League, formed in 1948, currently consists of Riley County, Rock Creek, Rossville, Silver Lake, St. Marys, and Wabaunsee. Rock Creek will depart to join the North Central Kansas League and Wabaunsee will depart to join the Flint Hills League at the end of the 2023-2024 school year.

The Big 7, formed in 1926, currently consists of Hiawatha, Holton, Jefferson West, Nemaha Central, Perry-Lecompton, Riverside, Royal Valley, and Sabetha with Riverside leaving to join the Northeast Kansas League at the end of the 2023-2024 school year.

The formation of the Big East League will improve scheduling logistics, increase academic and extracurricular opportunities, and further elevate these historically successful member schools.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


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