Tomorrow night, the Great Bend High School Panthers will meet the Maize South Mavericks in their first play-off game in five years. It’s thrilling to feel the excitement in the air and gratifying to have witnessed Coach Tony Crough turn around the attitudes of the players 180 percent in the past two years. He takes no credit, instead giving it back to the players and his staff, but the atmosphere he’s created is clearly his handiwork.
Last year, he began his work, building up the team, leading them to not only become committed athletes, but good members of the community, and reciprocate support of the other teams at the school. It was touching to see the mutual support of each of the fall teams this week as they looked back on their winning seasons, recounting their accomplishments and growth not only as athletes, but as community members.
And tomorrow, community members associated with the Great Bend Panthers Booster club will do their part to keep those outside the school engaged. If you’ve been to every home game this season, or if it’s been years since the last time you sat in Memorial Stadium to cheer on the Panthers, come. Join your friends and family at the tailgate, and know you are helping to support these winning programs. Dress warm for seasonal weather, bring a blanket, a bull horn, or even your pom-pons, along with your cheering voice, and prepare to have a great time. If you are so inclined, say a prayer for our boys that they enjoy a smooth path to State.