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At the Mike
Batten down the hatches, the weather game is officially on
Mike - At the Mike

 Community Service Day. It is a day I think all involved like. Great Bend High School has been doing it for several years now.

It is a day when the high school students go out in the community and perform projects to help out. Be it cleaning a park, reading to kids, helping an organization with a project, or other tasks. 

I know most of the kids really like it – after all, it gives them a day without school work. I think most teacher like it as well, allowing them out of the class room for day. And those that get help in the community also like it.

It is one of those win-win situations and those are really hard to come by sometimes.

So good job all involved. Community Service Day get kudos.

Prep thoughts

Those dreaded makeup dates. The weather can be interesting for prep teams this time of year. 

That is what faces many coaches and athletic directors this time of the year. With all the events wiped out Tuesday due to weather, Great Bend had a boat-load of activities to reschedule.

That is common for the spring sports – where you make your schedule in pencil, not pen. It can also be a challenge to get in make-up events. For baseball, softball and soccer it can be tough just getting the two teams to find a good date.

For teams in track and swimming, those makeup dates almost never contain the same teams as the original. Oh well, it’s all part of spring sports in Kansas.

Former athlete/coach update

A couple recent Barton former track athletes are having some pretty good springs. Middle Tennessee State junior Sampson Laari just put his name in his nation’s record book. Laari ran a 3:43.58 1500m this past weekend to set the Ghana national record. He broke a record that had stood for 19 years. Seth Bortey had the old mark at 3:46.62.

David Winters was named the New Male Student-Athlete of the Year at South Carolina at the recent Gamecock Gala. Winters has run a 10.34 100m and 21.07 200m outdoors this spring. During the indoor season, Winters placed 5th in 60m and 200m at the SEC Championships.

Around campus

A fun event for all artist at heart. The Sidewalk Art Contest is back again at the college. The annual event is set for May 2-4 on the sidewalk outside Shafer Gallery. 

The event is open to anyone, just show up at the Gallery, register and grab some free chalk. Create your design anytime between 10 am and 4 pm. The contest is judged with three $50 gift certificates from the Chamber being awarded.

Over the years there have seen some pretty cool art. Bad thing is it seems to rain and wash the art away too quickly most years. So grab some chalk and have some fun. 

And finally

If you build it they will come. If you predict bad storms five days in advance they will stay away. That was the case for the Great Bend High School baseball team Tuesday as it had its doubleheader at Hays High wiped out for weather concerns. The day turned out to be a sunny, 70 degree day.

But that’s what happens in the sensationalized world of today.

I don’t blame the schools involved. The blame goes on the National Weather Service and media outlets. I think it was last Thursday my wife, who is let’s just say not fond of storms, was telling me about Tuesday’s storm coming.

The National Weather Service was already scaring people five days in advance. Wichita television joined in as Jay Prater and Merrill Teller were warning us about the significant weather event headed our way. 

I am all for warnings of storms – preferably on the day of the storm. Thank goodness for warnings when the tornado when through Hoisington 15 years ago. And Greensburg. Even Tuesday as the storms fired up and rolled to the east of us. 

But it seems like that isn’t enough now. We have to be worked into a frenzy four and five days ahead of the storm. Almost scaring people into thinking the world is going to end. 

The national news Tuesday morning was adding up the people in the possible areas of severe weather so they could throw out a figure saying X-many millions of people of could be affected by the storms. Really? Seriously?

Let’s be honest. Tuesday’s storms were nothing more than a good ol’ fashion Kansas spring storm event. They happen quite often. Some thunder, some lightning, some rain, a little hail, and heavy down pours at time. Even some rotation here and there. Really not that out of the ordinary even the places that got hit by the storm.

It was similar this past winter when four and five days in advance there were prediction of some 12-18 inches of snow for Great Bend. Build it up and build it up. As the day got closer, the total went down, and down. I could have cleaned my driveway with a leaf blower after the snow.

I pretty much take prediction several days in advance with that proverbial ‘grain of salt.’ I don’t pay much attention to all the fuss until that day arrives. Because if you kept looking at the chance of rain for Tuesday in Great Bend it was 40 percent. 

There was actually a better chance it would not rain at all than anything else.