SM East vs Rockhurst football series planned for 2016 and 2017

SM East's football team is expected to play rival Rockhurst for the first time in years starting in 2016.
SM East’s football team is expected to play rival Rockhurst for the first time in years starting in 2016.

For years, the annual meeting between Rockhurst High School’s and SM East’s basketball teams has provided one of the most spirited atmospheres in Kansas City prep sports.

Starting in 2016, fans are likely to be able to see the energy of the rivalry on the gridiron as well.

SM East’s athletics department confirmed Tuesday that the schools have tentatively agreed to a two-game series to be played in 2016 and 2017. The deal, however, is contingent on other Sunflower League teams scheduling games with other opponents during off-league weeks early in the season.

“As long as all other league teams have games we play Rock,” said SM East athletic director Kelli Kurle. “In theory it should work out, we are confident.”

Kurle said the schools should be able to officially confirm the games are scheduled in August. The first game is penciled in for Sept. 16, 2016.

SM East head coach Dustin Delaney said the programs had been working on the idea since last year.

“Should be an awesome environment and great for our community,” he said.

The the teams haven’t met for years, but the game won’t be unprecedented. SM East and Rockhurst have met on the football field 11 times, with SM East just 3-8 overall. The last Lancers win over the Hawklets came in 1975.