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Kansas School for the Deaf to host two tournaments in 2023-2024 school year

Kansas School for the Deaf to host two tournaments in 2023-2024 school year

The 2022-2023 school year may be over, but the Kansas School for the Deaf (KSD) is looking to the next school year when it will host a national deaf basketball tournament, as well as a track and field conference meet during the spring semester. 

Dean Muszynski, activity coordinator for KSD, said planning for these events will begin in the fall. 

“We have several events happening throughout the year,” he said. “Our student-athletes are really looking forward to any events that include other deaf student-athletes.” 

The Kansas School for the Deaf offers several sports for students. 

KSD Athletics is divided into three separate categories: 

  • Developmental – Elementary school 
    • Coaches allow each athlete an opportunity to play in every game. 
  • Competitive/Developmental – Middle school/high school junior varsity 
    • Coaches do their best to allow each athlete playing time, but the amount of time is at their discretion and/or those who meet or exceed a coach’s expectations. 
  • Competitive – High school varsity  
    • Teams have the opportunity to win league, tournament and/or national title. Playing time is awarded to athletes with a higher skill level and/or those who meet or exceed coach’s expectations. 

Basketball, volleyball, football and Special Olympics bowling is offered to all grade levels. Soccer is offered to students in kindergarten through second grade. Middle schoolers and high schoolers can participate in cheerleading and track and field. Powerlifting is also available to high school students. 

Following Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) guidelines, to compete in athletics, a student-athlete must be a full-time student at KSD and complete a sports physical. 

Established in 1989, the Kansas School for the Deaf is one of eight schools for the deaf that are part of the Great Plains Schools for the Deaf (GPSD) Conference. The others include Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. KSD plays these teams, as well as other local schools that have a similar enrollment number. 

The first GPSD Conference basketball tournament was held at KSD in January 1990, where KSD won the first girls’ championship. Fast forward 33 years later, the girls’ basketball team was named 2023 GPSD basketball champions and were awarded the 2023 Sportsmanship award. Overall, the team has won six conference championships.  

On the boys’ side, the team has won three conference championships and were runners-up this year. 

The KSD Volleyball team is 12-time conference champions. Most recently, the team won three championships in a row in 2016, 2017 and 2018. 

The boys’ track and field team has earned six conference titles. The girls have won eight, including their most recent title at the regional track meet earlier this month. The boys came in runners-up. The cheerleading squad has earned four. 

Those aren’t the only sports KSD offers, though. The Jackrabbit Powerlifting competition started last year. 

“We strongly believe weighting will help our student-athletes to compete better in sports,” Muszynski said. “We are competing within our school, and we hope to do a virtual competition someday with other schools in the future.”  

Before becoming a member, according to their website, a student must perform one repetition of a squat, bench press, power clean and deadlift. The total weight they lifted is added up and the student is either designated to the 600-pound club or the 1000-pound club, depending on the total weight they lifted. 

Something that may help these students succeed in their respective sport(s) is a refurbished gym, donated by the Big 12 Conference as part of the 2017 Big 12 Legacy Project. 

In 2014, the Big 12 decided to keep the Big 12 Basketball Tournament in Kansas City through 2020. Because of this, the conference wanted to give back to the Kansas City community in a bigger way through the Big 12 Legacy Project. The Big 12 donated $25,000 toward the refurbished gym and other contributors donated an additional $25,000. 

“As a conference, we wanted to leave a lasting impact on this community, just as it has left a lasting impact on our student-athletes,” said former Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby at a dedication ceremony in October 2016. 

The refurbished gym included upgrades such as a freshly sanded, painted and sealed volleyball and basketball court; new wall padding; freshly painted bleachers; and a new motor for the bleachers, allowing the school to nearly double its gym space by folding them in. 

A few months after the gym dedication, KSD students signed the National Anthem at the 2017 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship Game. You can watch that video here (link: Kansas School for the Deaf Students Sign National Anthem at Big 12 Championship - YouTube). 

Looking to the future, KSD will host a national deaf basketball tournament Jan. 12-14, 2024, and the GPSD track and field conference meet April 27, 2024. Two years after those events, the school will host a GPSD basketball and cheerleading conference tournament Feb. 5-7, 2026.  

Posted: Jun 1, 2023,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Bush

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