The Southeast Kansas League is a high school athletic conference represented by seven schools in the southeast region of Kansas. The league offers championships for girls in basketball, cross country, golf, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. In boys sports, the SEK offers championships in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, track & field, and wrestling.
The league is referred to as "The SEK" or "SEK" when shortened. "SEKL" is never used.
There have been three different leagues known as the Southeast Kansas League. The original was a loose association and existed from 1908 to 1923. This league did not contest a football championship.
The second version of the SEK existed from 1923 to 1927. Another league, known as the Big Seven League, existed for two years, 1926 and 1927. Some SEK schools competed in the Big Seven at the same time.
The current incarnation of the SEK is the third and has existed since 1928. The original eight members were Chanute, Coffeyville, Columbus, Fort Scott, Independence, Iola, Parsons, and Pittsburg. Iola left for a short period from 1932 to 1936. Labette County joined prior to the 1968-69 school year. Ottawa was a league member for four years, 1987-88 to 1990-91. Ottawa is now a member of the Frontier League.
The conference was split into "Upper" and "Lower" divisions for football from 1981 to 2003 as the Kansas State High School Activities Association's district system made it no longer possible for every league team to play each other in football. In 2004, the league went back to a single division format for football but each school was not required to play each of the other eight as this is still not possible due to district assignments. The minimum number of league games required in football is five.
In November 2010, Iola's school board voted to switch its high school to the Pioneer League starting in 2012-13. In September 2011, Columbus' school board voted to switch to the Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League starting in 2012-13, reducing the SEK's membership to seven schools.
Pittsburg will no longer participate in league football beginning with the 2016 season. As the league's only Class 5A school, Pittsburg will be playing in a different playoff system than the other league members and cited a need to play larger schools in order to improve its seeding in the post-season.
Field Kindley High School is located in Coffeyville and is usually referred to as "Coffeyville" in most newspapers and often by the students and school itself.
Labette County High School is located in Altamont.
*Classifications for football are set for two-year cycles with enrollment numbers from grades 9-11 from the school year before the cycle begins. For all other sports, enrollment numbers from grades 9-12 are used to determine classes for the current school year.
Adam LaRoche and Andy LaRoche graduated from Fort Scott. Adam is a first baseman for the Chicago White Sox and Andy is a former major league who now plays for the Wichita Wingnuts.
Shaun Hill graduated from Parsons. He is currently a quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings.
Kerry Meier graduated from Pittsburg. He was a wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons. Brother Shad, also a PHS graduate, was a tight end for the Tennessee Titans.
Bill Russell (baseball) was a 1966 graduate of Pittsburg and played basketball for the Purple Dragons (they did not field a baseball team at the time). He played 18 seasons for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1969–86) and managed the team from 1996-98.
Scott Hastings played for Independence, which won the SEK and State in 1972. He went on to play for the Detroit Pistons in the NBA and won the NBA Finals in 1990