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At the Mike
In case you havent noticed its hot
Mike - At the Mike nw

BY MIKE MARZOLF

Special to the Tribune

Let’s hope this isn’t a sign of things to come. The first few weeks of June typically aren’t the hottest days of the summer. In fact, it isn’t even ‘officially’ summer yet. It is still spring. Someone needs to let Mother Nature know this.

Don’t expect a lot of change, however. Temps now are normally around the mid-to-high 80’s. By the end of June that average is about 90. Average stays in the low 90’s most of July. Taking a peak at the long-range forecast – for what that’s worth – not many days will be below average. In fact most of June and the first half of July hangs in the mid-to-upper 90s.

For the optimist in me, the second half of July is slightly below average with temps in the low 90’s or high 80s. 

Oh well, it is Kansas and it is summer. Get used the heat.

Prep thoughts

My how things have changed with the KSHSAA over the past 20 years or so. In the great decade of the 80s, there were no team camps, no organized summer sessions, no team anything. 

I played in a summer basketball league in Beloit and they had to make sure there were no more than two players from the same school on any one team. You went to camps it was as an individual, not a team.

The changes are for the best I believe. But one thing parents, and some coaches, need to keep in mind is the overworking of an athlete in one particular sport. The body does not like it.

Playing multiple sports and taking breaks from one to the next is healthy for the body. It makes for a better-rounded athlete. It lets the body developed different muscles and keeps from over-using some muscles and stress on joints and bones.

So use common sense. Let them be diverse during the high school years. In the long run, it will pay off.

Former Athlete/Coach update

With the Olympics set for August in Rio, several countries are not far away from their national championships or qualifying events for this year’s Olympics. In several countries, just hitting the Olympic qualifying mark will get you a spot in Rio representing your country.

But for the United State and Jamaica – the two countries former Barton athletes have represented the most over the years in the Olympics – you do need to qualify.

The US qualifying is set for June 30-July 10 in Eugene, Ore. The most notable former Cougar trying to earn a spot will be Tyson Gay. One of the top sprinters in the world over the past 10-plus years, an Olympic medal as eluded him so far. He is already set to run in the 100m and 200m at the trials.

For Jamaicans, that event will be in early July as well. Veronica Campbell-Brown is fresh off her fastest 100m in four years when she ran a 10.83 in Florida over the weekend. That is the fourth fastest time in the world this year. Simone Facey has also been running very well this summer with the 10th fastest time in the world.

And finally

This weekend will be a special weekend. Little Haley Webster will become Haley Gleason. Actually, she hasn’t been little Haley for quite some time. But this weekend, she is getting married.

Now most of you who read this column with any regularity know that Steve Webster is my best friend. Has been for nearly 30 years now. Haley is his oldest. While not actually family, she is all but family to me as is Steve’s entire family.

I will never forget her jet ski ride as a child. Nor will Steve and his wife Deb. Haley couldn’t have been but about 10 years old. Steve’s family accompanied me to Glen Elder to spend the Fourth of July weekend with parents.

I was going to give Haley a little spin around a cove at Waconda Lake on a jet ski. Now mind you, these were the old-school stand-up jet skis. As I was explaining to her how it worked, telling her you pull back on this lever to make it go … she pulled back on the lever and away she went – solo.

She was small enough to fit on her knees in the area you stand. As she headed out onto Waconda Lake, Steve stood with his jaw on the sand. Haley began to turn a rather large circle in the cove, headed right for a boat floating in the water. Somehow she missed the boat but was now heading for some people floating on air mattresses. 

Again, she split right between them and headed back to shore. Going nearly full-speed she drove the jet ski right up onto the sand, jumped out and ran to daddy Steve. It was the jet ski ride of her life. 

Haley and the Webster clan would return for more Fourth of July festivities at my parents over the years and that jet ski ride didn’t scare her off from many more afterwards.

So Sean Gleason be aware. Litlte Haley Webster is full of will and determination. Not much will phase her. 

But I’m sure you know that by now.