COVID-19 continued to be a big story throughout 2021, and for some, its influence led to whole new ventures.
For the first time in history, the Jayhawk Conference opted for a spring football season. In July of 2020, with the fall season still looming and the vaccine still a few months away,
The Coffeyville Red Ravens finished at 3-3, with two games (Fort Scott and Arkansas Baptist) canceled due to health and safety reasons. Despite a .500 record, Coffeyville showed improvement from the 2019 fall season, and spent time ranked within the NJCAA top 10. The team also picked up a highlight, walk-off win over Butler Community College in front of their home crowd.
Meanwhile, the Independence Pirates finished 5-2, and set new conference scoring records in an 84-0 blowout of Fort Scott. Ever the team for dramatics, the Pirates, much like Coffeyville, also managed to defeat Butler in the final minute of play. With a good record and solid showings against tough opponents, Independence also spent time hoving around the top 5 teams in the nation.
To conclude the spring 2021 season, the two teams met in Coffeyville for a hotly-contested affair that wasn't decided until the final few minutes. However, the Pirates would ultimately come out on top 19-16.
The spring 2021 season would precede a season later that fall. That season will be the subject of our next sports Year in Review; particularly, Coffeyville's upset of then #1-ranked Hutchinson.