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At the Mike
Games dont get much bigger than Friday night at Memorial Stadium
Mike - At the Mike nw

 Does it get any better than this? Last game of the regular season. Two unbeaten teams. Conference championship. Top seed in 5A.

That is what is on the line Friday night at Memorial Stadium for the Great Bend High football team. It will be one of the biggest games the old venue has witnessed for a long time when the Panthers host Garden City.

I’ve had the honor of officiating some games with packed stands and unbeaten teams in the past – though never a pair of 7-0 teams.

The atmosphere on the field is electrifying. It will be a game these kids will remember for the rest of their lives.

Get out and help make the atmosphere as impressive as it can be. The Booster Club will get things started at 5 pm with a tailgate party at the northwest side of the football field. 

Let’s hope this is just the first of five straight Friday night’s at the old yard.

Prep thoughts

Regionals continue to this weekend for fall sports, including cross country. I have watched the Great Bend cross country team up close this year with my daughter running. I have enjoyed watching my good friend Lyles Lashley coach this group. 

This weekend they head to Wichita for a very tough regional hosted by Bishop Carroll. Kerby Depenbusch and Karen Razo have been excellent all season. Both are fresh off WAC titles and both have a shot at winning regional titles as well.

Razo, running a rare 4K race during WAC, set the GBHS school record for that distance by two seconds in winning the title. She is a running machine. As is Depenbusch.

For the teams to get out of regionals and advance to state it will be a tough chore in the difficult regional. The boys’ have a solid chance. Led by Depenbusch, senior Eric Vazquez and a host of freshman the boys will battle Carroll, Maize and Liberal for the three spots.

On the girls’ side host Carroll and WAC champion Liberal should lead the way. Great Bend will tangle with Maize and Valley Center for that third spot.  

Former Barton Athlete/Coach update

Some tragic news struck former Barton track star Tyson Gay this past weekend. Gay, an Olympian and US record holder in the 100m, lost his daughter to a murder in his hometown of Lexington, Kent. Gay was training in the California at the time.

His daughter, Trinity, was fatally shot outside a restaurant. She was 15. Two cars drove by shooting at each other. She was an innocent bystander. Hit by a stray bullet. A candlelight vigil was held Monday at Lafayette High School track, where Tyson and Trinity were track stars. 

Prayers for Tyson and his family.

The referee house

For all the horror stories I like to tell about coaches and officials, officiating is one of the most fun things I do. I should say funnest just to irritate my daughter. As mentioned above, there is nothing quite like being on the field during a big-time game with the crowd roaring from the stands.

There is nothing like seeing a kid make a nice play and be genuinely excited. True excitement. I wouldn’t trade Friday night’s officiating for anything. Except when Crystal was having knee surgery a couple years back. I didn’t have a choice. Well, not a wise choice anyway.

That being said, the age of the football officials in Kansas isn’t getting younger. New blood is needed on the field. So if you and someone you know has an interest, let me know. 

Kids back from college starting a new job. Dads who have watched their sons play and now they have graduated. Someone who just likes football and misses being a part of it. All are great candidates. 

Trust me, it’s truly a fun time.

And finally

At the Marzolf household we are all about dressing up for Halloween. We’ve been doing it for years. Some of the cooler, yep an ‘80’s term, have been Pink Ladies and Thunderbirds from Grease and Popeye and Olive Oyl. 

This year, last I knew, we were going as the crew from Bob’s Burgers complete with the kids. Heck, even our dogs get to dress up. Daisy, my Chihuahua-terrior mix has been a caterpillar and a costume being eaten by a shark. My favorite is her shirt that says I’m really a cat in disguise. It’s amazing how many dog biscuits she get when we would go door to door.

So I got to thinking, which is dangerous. Thinking of some nifty, another 80’s term, outfits to wear. We actually just got an Almond Joy and Mounds costumes from our friend Julie. Of course the slogan is ‘Almond Joys has nuts and Mounds don’t’. It actually says it on the back.

How about a red solo cup and a ping pong ball. A ball and a chain. I think a costume as the operation game would be cool. Rock, paper, scissors as well. Carry a fence around and be Wilson from Tool Time. Wear a shirt that says ‘Go Ceiling’ and be ceiling fan. How about a cat outfit and a litter box.

Last Halloween Crystal’s sister dressed as a tree and her husband as Bob Ross painting the tree. 

Whatever you do, don’t dress as a clown this year.

Then, of course, if you really want to be scary you could dress as … wait, I told myself when I started this column I would do my best to stay away from politics. 

So I will stop and leave it at that.

Mike Marzolf is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at