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At the Mike
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Welcome back state baseball
Kudos to the Great Bend Recreation Commission and Executive Director Diann Henderson. Great Bend was once again awarded the Class 2-1A State Baseball Tournament in late May of 2016. It will be the third year it has been here in Great Bend.
Last year Chris Umphres, Sports Director for the Rec, and his crew did a great job fighting through the rain to get the event in on time.
The Great Bend Sports Complex will also be the host once again for the KCAC baseball and softball tournaments in the early part of May. Building a first-rate facility has proven to be a tremendous asset to the community.
Prep thoughts
If you are looking for something to do Friday night you might consider a trip to Claflin. The only home football game in Barton County will feature a pair of county foes. Ellinwood makes the trek to Claflin to battle Central Plains.
After losing its season opener to 8-man II top ranked Victoria, 16-12, Central Plains has rolled over teams by an average score of 63-3. But the next two weeks will determine the post season. Ellinwood will bring a 4-2 mark to the contest with a loss to that same Victoria team and 8-Man I top ranked Solomon. The 46-20 contest with Solomon was the closest game of the season for the Gorillas and only the second time they went the distance.
Central Plains and Solomon will do battle next week in Solomon.
Former Athlete/Coach update
Stories really aren’t much better than that of Kevin and Kit. Kevin Ellis and Kit Van Sickle. Ellis, a former Baton men’s soccer standout and current player for the Sporting Kansas City has gone beyond the pitch to help make a difference.
Ellis has taken the journey of the 2-year as his own. Kit has leukemia. Kevin is fighting with her. The two met in May at a calendar photo shoot for Sporting Kansas City.  Kevin and Kit struck up a friendship at that time.
When Ellis scored a goal in May his lifted his shirt to reveal and undershirt that read #GOKITGO. It was a lift for the family. It helped bring her story to the mainstream in the Kansas City area and MLS soccer. She calls him her best friend.
Ellis was recently awarded with the Victory Projects’ 2015 Humanitarian of the Year Award for his friendship and support of Kit.
Simply awesome stuff.
Around Campus
Thursday was a day hundreds of high schoolers descend on campus – it was Jack Kilby Science Day. This year was the 12th annual event, which ran all morning and into the early afternoon. The event featured science-themed activities in honor Great Bend’s favorite son.
This year’s Keynote Speaker was Raphael Grau. He is the Acting Manager of External Integration for the International Space Station Program for NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Over the years I have enjoyed just walking around in past years and observing the activities taking place and the excitement in many of the kids eyes at just what science can do.
And Finally
The holiday season is here. First there is Halloween, then Thanksgiving and finally the dynamic duo of Christmas and New Year’s.
With that comes the holiday decorating.
But my question is this – when did Halloween become Christmas?
Somewhere along the line Halloween decorating became a much bigger event. I am not sure exactly when that happened. I don’t think it happened overnight.
Much like the government gradually taking away your freedoms. Small bites until you all the sudden you realize it. It does not rival Christmas yet but is clearly second on the holiday decorating Top 5.
We actually drive around and look at Halloween decorations like Christmas decorations.
And, of course, decorate. Which presented a small problem for me. My friend Steve came over and stole his extension ladder back from me recently. So when it came time to hang the pumpkins lights on the porch I couldn’t reach the pinnacle of the arch.
I tried a tree trimmer extension, broom stick, and picket fence. Dad gum lights wouldn’t stay on the end to place them over the hook. Crystal and Donovan watched as I struggled. I think they were laughing I just couldn’t hear them. Katelyn was supervising the whole time – from the couch in the air conditioning.
Finally Crystal asked a neighbor for a ladder and the task was complete.
So while the temperatures may seem like it, the Holiday rush is coming quickly.