Winter came back. I wouldn’t say with a vengeance, but it definitely returned this past week.
It made enough of an impact that several schools in the area closed or delayed their start. There were a couple people at the Marzolf household Monday morning that had their fingers crossed Great Bend would not have school.
Of course my little girl Katelyn, a senior, was hoping for a snow day. My wife Crystal works at a school and was hoping for the same. As far as I was concerned, I wanted them to have school. Barton was closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and I wanted to spend a peaceful day at home alone.
I got my wish.
We’ve been pretty fortunate with snow the past few years - that is if you don’t like a lot of snow. It was likethree winters ago, I believe, maybe even four, we had at least two and maybe even three double-digit snow storms. Since then, I don’t think we’ve had any storm bring more than maybe three inches or so.
In fact, my buddy Steve Webster just got to use his ‘new’ snow blower this year he bought like three years ago. There will be another snow storm at some point. I just hope it’s on a weekend so Crystal and Katelyn don’t get a snow day. Is that mean? Nah, I don’t think so.
The Hilltop Hoops Classic 2018 version is set for next week at Barton. It is the fifth edition for the prep girls’ tournament.
It will most likely be the Central Plains Classic. The Oilers, 8-0 and ranked No. 1 in Class 2A, have been unbeatable this season. Behind the play of sophomore sensation Emily Ryan (aka Magic Johnson), the Oilers have only had three teams play them within 50 points this year. The closest game was a 66-33 win over Russell, a team that is 7-2 on the season.
Little River (8-2) and St. John (6-3) will most like battle to come out of the bottom half of the bracket to take a beating at the hands of the Oilers in the championship game, set for next Friday at 8 pm
Former Barton Athlete/Coach update
Let’s check back in on former Barton women’s basketball coaches now coaching at the NCAA D-II level – Lane Lord at Pittsburg State and Tony Hobson at Fort Hays State.
Lord and the Gorillas have been playing pretty basketball as of late. Pitt State is currently riding a 4-game winning streak and are 6-2, tied for third, in the MIAA. The Gorillas are 13-4 overall. Their two losses in the MIAA are to Kansas foes Emporia State and Hobson’s Fort Hays.
The Tigers are 3-4 in the MIAA and 12-4 overall. Fort Hays had a perfect non-conference slate, but have been near that .500 in the conference pretty much all season.
Kansas Fun Fact
Chances are just about everyone in Kansas knows of a Walnut Creek. There was one in Mitchell County up in God’s Country growing up. It was just south of Glen Elder. In all, there are 27 Walnut Creeks in Kansas. Yep, 27. Last I checked there were 105 counties so that is darn near one every four counties.
Of course, Walnut Creek around here runs just to the east of Great Bend. That particular Walnut Creek is known for the Walnut Creek Massacre. In a nutshell, the massacre took place back in 1864 when a band of Kiowa warriors attacked about 30 wagons near Fort Zarah, a small military outpost located near Walnut Creek.
I am not sure how many Limestone or Granite Creeks there are in Kansas, but those were two creeks near Glen Elder I crossed quite regularly. I actually fell in Limestone Creek, through the ice, once. But that is a different story for a different time.
So I’ve already broken one my New Year’s resolutions. Monday night as I sat and watched KU play West Virginia on TV, I found myself talking to the television. Quite often, actually.
It must have worked. KU rallied and won. I felt at times the referees needed to be told a thing or two. As I sat about three feet from the television in a chair next to the TV I found myself leaning in even closer. Like a couple feet isn’t close enough.
My lovely wife Crystal even commented to Katelyn at one point about my conversation I was having with the television set.
But, it just didn’t bother me. I kept right on talking.
I have done this since I was a child. It mostly revolves around KU basketball. I recall once as a youngster I was watching KU play one night when my mother got home from bowling. She rode with some other ladies and they were dropping her off back home.
I was told they sat in the driveway and watched me, through the window, for several minutes as I watch the game on TV. Jumping up and down and such. I must have been quite entertaining.
I don’t get as excited as I used to, but I have my moments. Fist pumps, talking, and sometimes even jumping out of my chair. Once, as KU built a 22-3 lead on Indiana during an NCAA tournament game back in college, I sprinted down the hallway and back I got so excited.
Other times, Steve Webster and myself, have even gotten down Christmas decorations when watching games in his garage. Frosty, plugged in and light up, has helped KU rally more than once. He seemed to work better than Santa.
Since I am now in the second 50 years of my life, I try to limit those occurrences. Don’t want to wear myself out. I have to pace myself a bit more.
But I also understand there are games KU needs me. So I try to do all I can to help out from my chair.
Monday night was one of those night KU needed my help. I was obliged to give them a hand.