Don’t look now but just behind the turkey is the high school basketball season. We just put the high school football season to bed last weekend but here comes the dribbling! Some tournaments start this weekend with more to follow during the days of the next week.
You could hear the thud of the critics from the top of those Rocky Mountain peaks Sunday night when Bronco coach Gary Kubiak gave the go sign to try a 62-yard field goal in overtime that was no good, giving the Chiefs great field position. Not many teams go into Mile High and win but Andy Reid and his band of no-name Chiefs have done it now two years in a row! Most of the fireworks in that game were in the fourth quarter while a lot of the country was sleeping. Don’t sleep on Andy Reid. He is one of the top two or three coaches in the NFL!
It has been well documented, the strength of the Central Kansas League in football. Two teams, Pratt and Hesston played in state championship games with Pratt winning a 4AII title. Two other teams, Hoisington and Halstead lost in the semifinal round. If you think that was a minefield to negotiate, just wait until they start tossing the basketball at the old peach basket! The CKL is loaded! Pratt is one of the favorites to make a run at another state championship for their hardware trophy case.
The 3A State Championship football game provided a showcase for two of the best quarterbacks in the state. Rossville’s Jacob Bradshaw and Hesston’s Zach Esau. Rossville edged by Hesston in overtime as Bradshaw ran for 275 yards and passed for 148. Hesston’s Esau countered with 112 yards rushing and 238 yards passing. In an odd turn of events, it was Esau’s fumble in overtime that prevented this classic from going on into multiple overtimes. Two of the better field generals in Kansas hooked up in a real classic!
Pratt ran all over Topeka Hayden, 48-14 to win another state championship. They were led by sophomore running back Travis Theis as he rushed for 261 yards on 26 carries. He may be only a sophomore but Theis is All-State caliber. Last year, due to an early-season injury to the Greenbacks’ quarterback, Theis moved to quarterback and did a terrific job. Theis is not just a “star in the making,” his light is already shining and fans can enjoy him for two more years!
Kansas State’s Dean Wade seems to be emerging from an early-season funk. In early games he seemed to be a little lost, or disinterested in the flow of the Wildcat offense. In several recent games he has moved into double figures and been a rebounding force. Kansas State needs Wade to produce in the paint if they are to move up the Big 12 ladder this year.
What a strange series of events. Texas and Oklahoma are strong football rivals. The Red River Classic is one of college football’s better rivalries. In the first game of the season, Oklahoma played themselves out of the national playoff picture with a loss to Houston. Houston’s coach was Tom Herman. Herman just got hired by Texas. “Longhorn football has been---and always will be---a national power, winning and playing for national championships”, said Herman upon taking over the job. So, Bye, Bye Charlie Strong. Hello Tom Herman. Hello a renewed, and more intense, Oklahoma-Texas rivalry. Strap it on Bob Stoops!
The NCAA is ordering Notre Dame to vacate wins from its’ 2012 and 2013 football seasons due to academic misconduct. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it wouldn’t cause much damage for this year, if it applied, because the school of Knute Rockne has only won four games this season! Oh how far the prideful falleth!
Following his team’s overtime loss to Ohio State last Saturday, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said, “I’m bitterly disappointed with the officiating today.” Join the crowd Jim. Join the crowd!
Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and her views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at email@example.com