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At the Mike
Thanks veterans, another week of football practice and banquets
Mike - At the Mike nw

 Thank you Veterans. 

Thank you for allowing us to have rights and freedoms in this country. Thank you for your service that has kept our country free.

Coming off an Presidential election that captured the nation and brought out the worst in many people we shouldn’t lose sight we have the freedom to vote. That is in large part because of veterans.

One of those veteran is my neighbor. So Happy Veterans Day Pete Warren. And Happy Veterans Day to my uncle Allen Fisher. And Happy Veterans Day to all veterans.

Again, thank you for your service.


Prep thoughts

 As each Friday passes in November the stakes get a little higher for high school football teams still practicing.

Two local teams are still practicing. Both have legit shots at practicing next week. Great Bend and Hoisington are battling to stay healthy right now but that is not that uncommon for the post season.

If both do, both have a great shot at keeping their seasons alive this weekend. 

The Panthers get to host Valley Center. The Hornets will bring a 9-1 record to Memorial Stadium just like the Panthers. Their only loss is to Goddard – another 5A quarterfinalist. But I just think if the Panthers play their game there will be another week in the season for them.

Hoisington won at Norton without probable Shrine Bowl invitee Hunter Hanzlick. Hanzlick went down early in the game with a dislocated elbow and the Cardinals still handed Norton its first shutout of the season.

Now Garden Plain comes to Elton Brown Field in Hoisington in a battle of the birds. The Owls only loss was to Conway Springs. The key for Hoisington will be stopping Nate Pauly. He throws the ball, runs the ball and intercepts the ball. Oh, and he returns kicks, too. Yeah, he’s pretty good.

Hanzlick may play. He may not. Either way, it is going to be the Cardinals first real test of the post season. A test I think they can pass and earn a spot in sub state.

Former athlete/coach update

It seems like former Barton volleyball coaches everywhere are having some good seasons. That includes just up the road to the northwest at Fort Hays State where former Barton coach Kurt Kohler runs things. 

Fort Hays is currently 23-8 with two more regular season matches this weekend. The Tigers now have back-to-back 20 wins season for the first time since 2004. It is the third 20-win season in five seasons. That hasn’t happened since the early 90’s.

Coach Kohler is currently second on the all-time wins at Fort Hays. The Tigers are currently in a battle for third in the MIAA.


Referee house

As the season winds down a couple thoughts usually run through our crew. First and foremost is where did the season go? Seems like every year we say, wow, it seems like we just started.

But we are also usually somewhat worn down. Our bodies aren’t as young as they once were. Officiating about three games or more a week for 10 weeks takes its toll. 

The bag of Epsom salt is almost empty. Our families are ready for us to be around more often. Or maybe not, I guess. Maybe the wives like us being gone.

Planning is now underway for our post season banquet.

And finally

Another kudos for the Great Bend Booster Club. Monday was the Fall Athletic Banquet and it was a great success. The decorations were as good as I’ve seen and the event was very well run. Jeff Mauler and his crew were busy it seemed like the entire night.

Every once in a while you hear some talk about why does the Booster Club still have a banquet for all sports each season. After all, most sports have their own gatherings at some point, right?

I like to see all the teams. Yeah, its a quick recap from each sport that just glazes over the accomplishments. But it is a chance to see all the student-athletes together. A chance for those kids to step on stage and get some appreciation from schoolmates and parents.

It is actually pretty impressive to see the sheer number of kids that participate in athletes in one room.

I went to a small school. We had one banquet in the spring for all the sports and activities combined. So to see the convention center full is an impressive sight indeed.

My only pet peeve about the event is they don’t let the kids eat first. Administrators, Booster Club board members, et al go first. This is for the kids. Let them go first. 

It is kind of hard to exit the event without getting in the way of photos. Athletes, friends, teammates all taking pictures with each other. It’s pretty cool.

I was feeling a bit left out though. Fortunately, Kevyn Soupiset was nearby. I grabbed him and we took a selfie together. Is it called a selfie if there are two of you. I think that is a twoie. 

By the way, I still don’t have that picture yet Kevyn.  

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