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At the Mike
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May the force be with you this Christmas
New movie ideas must be hard to come by. The two most popular movies of the year - and the highest grossing opening weekends of all-time - are just the latest chapters in a series.
First there was Jurassic World to start the summer and now the latest in the Star Wars series in the Force Awakens.
In some places people stood in line for days to be at the midnight premier. I never understood the waiting in line for days thing. I guess there is nothing I like or want that bad.
Shoot I don’t even like to wait in line at a breakfast buffet that has bacon and biscuits and gravy. I would, of course, but not more than like 15 minutes. Maybe 20. Okay 25. I like bacon.
Prep Thoughts
The Christmas break can be a challenge for high school basketball teams. Play five games or so then take two weeks off. Several of those days without practice.
So that final game before break can be important. Especially for teams that are looking to gain some traction. The Great Bend boys are one of those teams. The Panthers are growing up. A talented junior class mixed with some seniors and sophomores.
So getting a win going into break was nice for Coach Chris Battin. Getting a 2-point win in come-from-behind fashion was even nicer. It will make the two weeks much easier to navigate.
Former Athlete/Coach Update
This will be the final Ray Bechard update for a while. Congrats to him and his Kansas Jayhawk volleyball team. There is no hanging your head in losing to Nebraska in the national semifinals.  
Nebraska went on to beat Texas and win the national title in its home state. The loss for the Jayhawks ended the school’s most successful season at 30-3. Those three losses were to the two teams playing for the national title.
With a pair of first team All-American sophomores this year as well as other underclassmen the Jayhawks will probably be a top five team to start next year.
That, however, will bring new challenges. Challenges and expectations the program has never faced before.
Around Campus
Campus is closed but there are always a few students who can’t make it home for the holidays. Usually international athletes. With campus closed that means the cafeteria is also closed.
A big thanks goes out for those who help feed these students during this time. Christmas is hard when you can’t be around family. Sometimes a nice meal helps.
And Finally
With the Christmas season comes time spent with family. For some, this Christmas, as is the case each year, it is the first without a family member.  
My family is no exception. My daughter lost someone close this past year and my father will be spending his first Christmas in 78 years without his sister.
We all have an odd family member or two or three. That Uncle Shawn so to speak. In many cases, probably like mine, you only have to look in the mirror to find that Uncle Shawn.
The old saying is true. You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose but you can’t pick your friend’s nose. Oh wait, it’s that other adage.  You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose but you can’t pick your family.
They are given to us. So while many of us will have double digit gatherings in a single digital capacity home at least take a moment to look around and appreciate the moment.  
Enjoy the holidays with your family. Even that Uncle Shawn.
Merry Christmas.