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At the Mike
Its all about football this time of the year with a little KU volleyball
Mike - At the Mike nw

 The Great Bend football team has been dominating the conversation around town the past few weeks. And rightfully so. The Panthers are having a memorable season to say the least. Last week to start the new playoff format, no one thought the Panthers would be tested in their opener. And they weren’t.

That changes this week.

Welcome back Tony Crough. The coach at GBHS the previous two seasons will be on ‘the other’ sideline Friday when Andover pays a visit to Memorial Stadium. An Andover team that came up with a nice win to start the post season over Godard-Eisenhower, 35-14. That was the same Eisenhower team that beat Andover 34-31 just two weeks prior. 

Coach Crough probably knows a little about the personnel at GBHS. Probably knows their strengths and weaknesses. But when it comes down to it, that knowledge only helps a little bit. You still have to stop what has been a juggernaut of an offense for GBHS and move the ball on a solid Panther defense. 

It should make for a fun evening. 

Prep thoughts

How ‘bout those Larned Indians. After starting the season at 0-6, the Indians have won three of four to advance to the post season and then won a playoff game for the first time in more than 30 years. 

Suddenly the Indians rushing attack is a real threat to opponents. They rolled four or five backs at you and by the fourth quarter they have worn you down. Larned will get a test of just how far they’ve come since 0-6 when Phillipsburg rolls into Earl Roberts Field Saturday night. Not long ago P-Burg beat Larned 50-0 to make them 0-6.

Elsewhere in the playoffs, Hoisington rolled again. Ho-hum. The Cardinals will get tested – eventually. In the meantime, Norton has a really neat venue for football.

Surprise. Central Plains and Spearville match up in the second round of the playoffs. This seems like déjà vu. Oh, it is. The winner of this game has won the last two state titles. That is possible again this year. I think a very slight edge goes here to Spearville. Very slight. The winner more than likely gets a very powerful St. Francis team and one of the top 8-man quarterbacks in the state.

Former Barton athlete/coach update

I realize it hasn’t been that long since we’ve checked in on Ray Bechard. But since that last time his Kansas Jayhawk volleyball team has notched itself a huge win. 

The Jayhawk knocked off No. 2 Texas over the weekend at the Horejsi Center on the KU campus. Kansas, ranked No. 6 at the time, pulled out the 5-set thriller, to improve to 20-2 overall and 9-1 in the Big 12. The two teams have now split their matches are tied atop the conference.

Following the win, the Jayhawks moved up to No. 4 in the polls. Kansas has six regular season matches to go as KU goes after its first ever Big 12 title. As the season winds down, At the Mike will bring you more and more of the former Barton coach.

The Referee House

When you put five guys in a van for trips every week, you sometimes hear stories. Stories of the glory days. Each year that passes, those stories get a little more embellished as the memories fade a little further. 

For instance, our crew all knows Mike Myrick was a 100-yard state champion at Otis-Bison High School. Ty Racette was a good college baseball player and overall stud athlete while at Larned High School. Steve Webster is a proud Tabor College football alum with the ability to go from quarterback to defensive end. All very impressive.

But the most demonstrative story teller is Jon Shaver. We’ve all heard about the Pratt game his senior year while at Larned – at least 10 times. The story of that season always ended with something along the lines of that is the last season Larned won a playoff game. Beat Haven. That was the fall of 1985. 

Now that the Indians have won a playoff game this year, perhaps we won’t hear Jon’s story again. But, I’m sure we will.

And finally

It’s the Rodney Dangerfield of Holidays. Thanksgiving. I can’t think of a more disrespected Holiday.

Look around. Halloween has been getting all the publicity for a month and now, before Halloween even took place, the attention turned to Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Halloween. Christmas is my favorite Holiday. I sing Christmas songs all year. Just ask my family.

But what about Thanksgiving? Doesn’t it deserve some love?

Perhaps it’s just where it falls on the calendar. There is little doubt Christmas is the Secretariat of Holidays. It dominates.

But Thanksgiving needs a little more love. Even most parades just a day after Thanksgiving are called Christmas parades or the minimum center around turning on Christmas lights.

What Holiday has a better traditional meal than Thanksgiving? What other Holiday comes on a Thursday and sets up the potential for a 4-day weekend every year? Add to the fact it is one of few Holiday’s that gather multiple generations for the family meal. Chances are you get in more than one Thanksgiving each year as well.

Those facts put it near the top of the Holiday list in my opinion. I’d rank it in the top three maybe second overall. It is fun to blow up stuff on the Fourth.

So give Thanksgiving its rightful status. Take time during the month of November to realize what you are thankful for. Tell those important to you how thankful you are to have them in your life. 

Oh, and another reason I like Thanksgiving -- my wife Crystal likes turkey. Happy wife, happy life right.

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