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At the Mike
How many times can you meet in a three days?
Mike - At the Mike nw

 Way to go Great Bend High School Booster Club. The Meet the Panthers event was a big success at Jack Kilby Sunday evening. 

 Booster Clubs at the local high school often do things behind the scenes – except when they are looking for your money through membership and memorabilia. Their efforts are seldom acknowledge outside of the particular sports they are helping at the time.

 But Sunday night was a home run event to kick off the school year.

 Not only was it great to see so many parents, community members and athletes roaming the park but it was good to meet the new coaches at the high school. It is an event that has continued to grow each year and I look for the event to remain at Jack Kilby and just get bigger. 

 I think perhaps a sponsor for some pulled pork sandwiches would make the event even better. And kudos to Jeff Mauler for ordering such nice weather. 


Prep thoughts

 There are a lot of publications anymore than rank high school football teams. This more or less allows you to pick the one your team is the highest and go with it. For the purposes of At the Mike we will use Catch it Kansas. Catch it Kansas has been very active in the preseason with all kinds of fun lists heading into the football season.

 With the season just more than one week away, let’s take a look at the area teams that are ranked. It starts in Class 5A where the Great Bend Panthers will start the year ranked for the first time in quite a while. Great Bend comes in at No. 8 in the rankings for new coach Erin Beck. 

 Like a broken record, private schools St. James Academy and Bishop Carroll are 1-2 with St. Thomas Aquinas No. 3. The top of 5A is probably the best football in the state.

 Hoisington is set for a big season this year and starts off as the No. 3 ranked team in Class 3A behind Rossville and Norton. 

 Otis-Bison is the team to beat in Eight-Man II according to Catch it Kansas with the No. 1 ranking – the only area team ranked in D-II. Hodgeman County at No. 3 and Dighton at No. 8 are just outside the area.

 Central Plains will start the season at No. 6 in Eight-Man I where St. Francis is the top ranked team. 


Former athlete/coach update

To make sure At the Mike gives equal time during the political season we will give some press to another former Cougar coaching volleyball in the Big XII. Former Cougar player and Hall of Famer Suzie Fritz and the Kansas State Wildcats are in Honolulu this weekend to start the 2016 season.

Fritz will be starting her 16th season at the helm of the Wildcats. She has twice been named the Coach of the Year in the conference and is the winningest coach in program history. K-State will open with Arizona, Hawaii and Wisconsin over the weekend. Good Luck Coach Fritz.


Around campus

 The Big Benefit Auction is here. It will be Saturday at 6 pm at the Knights of Columbus. The auction starts at 8 pm. You can check and see if there are still tickets available for the 38th annual edition of the event.

It is the main fundraiser for the Foundation which provides scholarships for some very deserving students every year. For more information call the Foundation at 620-786-1136.


And finally

 Here there and everywhere. It is that time of the year. School is underway and so is the ‘meet the fill in the blank.”

 It started Saturday morning with Fall athletic photos for Great Bend sports teams. Now I could have skipped this event but with Katelyn running cross country I like to take every chance I get to give Coach Lyles Lashley a bad time. With Dale Riggs snapping the photos, Jeff Mauler helping for the Booster Club and Jim Misunas from the Tribune all there I had a group of people to pick on. 

 Sunday evening it was off Jack Kilby for the aforementioned Meet the Panthers. Each sport had its own little game setup to win a GBHS lanyard. I skipped the games and stole a lanyard from the boys’ basketball table while assistant coach Matt Simmons wasn’t looking.

 The week started with the GBHS Open House Monday evening as I got to meet Katelyn’s teachers. It seemed like we kept ending up at the end of the school with the art classrooms – like every other class. At least she will be getting her exercise going from one end of the building to the other for nearly every class.

 Tuesday it was Parents Meeting for three of the fall sports – cross country, girl’s golf and girl’s tennis. Among the tasks at the meeting was the parents in charge of the carb feeds as well as fruits and snacks for the bus trip. 

 Dawn Galusha headed this up and read off some ‘approved snacks’ for the cross country team. Approved snacks. I have a list of approved snacks. Candy bars, potato chips and ice cream sandwiches. I have been approving of those since I was five years old. Those are some of my ‘approved snacks’.

 Because I like the GBHS auditorium so much, I returned for a third straight day on Wednesday for an area meeting for high school football officials. 

 Friday it’s off to Larned for soap scrimmage officiating then Saturday morning returning to GBHS for a brunch feed for the cross country team. I’m sure my wife has some activity planned for Sunday to make it a full week.

 I need to get back to work to get some rest.