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Mid-Winter Classic always memorable
A Woman's View
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The Mid-Winter St. John Lion’s Club  Basketball Classic took place last week.
Since Fred was broadcasting the color with his good friend, Gary Wagner, and was leaving for the game earlier than I wanted to go, I decided to drive to the game with Beulah. Beulah is a grandmother too, and her grandson plays on one of the teams. She is a true fan!
This tournament is one of my favorite sports events every year.
You see, it’s one of the few times during the year that I eat homemade pie three days in a row. The food court at this hosting school, St. John, is to die for. Homemade pies are the major attraction for us, but we must not forget the gigantic baked potatoes covered with cheese and chili, the large bags of popcorn, and the nachos, just to name a few.
The food is a major draw for us, no doubt.
With drooling lips, Beulah and I set off down the road. It was dark. I told Beulah I had attended this tournament many times, so I would drive. We drove into St. John from the north. I turned west into the town. I was headed to the school. NOT. I don’t know how to tell you this, but we got lost. I forgot where the school was.
You laugh. Go ahead. It was dark and other than knowing the school was somewhere north of Dillons, I had no idea where I was.
“Don’t tell Fred,” I cautioned Beulah.
Thank goodness, we started early so we wouldn’t miss the game. Of course we eventually found it. I knew the “guys” would never let us live this one down if they knew. (They found out!)
The tournament itself is great entertainment.  But, it also provides a venue for meeting old friends. They must like the pie too!
“A Woman’s View” is always just a bit different from a man’s. I am there to observe the periphery as much as the game. It’s a feast.
I am extremely impressed by our Larned High School cheerleaders. These are 11 or 12 young women who devote many hours weekly to practices, and they have practiced hard to learn the synchronized routines that they perform. This team walks in to a gymnasium and anyone who appreciates cheerleaders notices them! They are a force to be reckoned with. They stand out!
Their cheer apparel is striking, and they look good as a composite whole. They are all very attractive women. But that’s not all. These cheerleaders are on their feet for the entire game, paying constant attention to the game as they lead out their cheers. Each cheer routine is synchronized and exact. The cheers are complex and well done. These girls are vital to the spirit and encouragement of the players. It would be pretty dull without them! Thanks girls.    
Their sponsor, Bethany (Skelton) Steinlage, is doing a great job leading this effort. This responsibility can be like corralling a herd of spirited horses to direct young energetic women like this. And she does that!
 Regarding the game; I don’t watch the “plays” exactly. I watch the expressions on the faces of our team players, I grimace as someone trips and slams against the floor, sliding into the wall, and I cheer when we steal the ball or make a fantastic shot.
I don’t really feel disappointed if we lose BECAUSE I notice how hard the guys are playing. Actually, I am in awe at the extreme physicality of the game, and the fact that these guys stay alive through it all. I am a LHS fan and that’s that. These players are the best.
The high school “student” fans are in my line of focus. Each Friday night they dress in a different theme when they are on the home court. A few weeks ago the guys dressed as females, and another time they wore sleep wear. They cheer and holler and I thoroughly enjoy watching. They are holding up the spirit and offering their support in a creative way, and I for one, appreciate that!
And then…there’s the pie.

“A Woman’s View” is Judi Tabler’s reflection of her experiences and events. She is a wife, mother, writer, teacher, grandmother, and even a great grandmother.