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At the Mike
Bechard closing in on win No. 300 at KU
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At the Mike

September is here. The Dog Days of August are a memory. Although the start of September definitely brought some heat with it.

The beginning of September gives us one last long weekend to enjoy with Labor Day. So take advantage and enjoy it. There are many options but Hoisington puts on a great holiday weekend.

Next thing you know Halloween will be in stores. Oh, wait.

Prep Thoughts

And they’re off. The girls’ tennis team got the ball bouncing so to speak last week as the official start of the 2015 fall seasons at Great Bend High School. Girl’s golf and boys’ soccer has since joined them with volleyball set to start today.

The Great Bend Cross Country Invitational will also take place today and tomorrow and the Panther football team kicks off the season at home against Leavenworth Friday night.

While the temperature may say summer – fall sports are here. The heat is something the athletes and coaches deal with almost every year in Kansas. It is just part of coaching and playing. Although last year it was unseasonably cool the first few weeks of the season – almost jacket weather if you can remember that far back.

Everybody loves this time of the year. Practices are getting old. It’s time to compete. Nearly everyone has high hopes – at least thoughts of what could be. Players and coaches alike spend just a little bit of time around this point day-dreaming of ‘if this happens or that happens then this could happen’.

That’s what makes it fun. For the most part it is the kids you have grown up with. Your friends you see daily in the halls at high school. There is pride amongst all high schools and towns.

Former Athlete/Coach Update

Ray Bechard is closing in on 300 wins as the University of Kansas volleyball coach. He currently has 298 and will look to pass the 300-mark this weekend at home. Kansas will play Western Illinois tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. and if all goes well he will go after 300 in the feature night match Friday at 7 p.m. with Duke. Kansas will wrap up the Kansas Invitational Saturday against the UMKC.

His mark at KU is 298-226. He is the school’s all-time leader in wins by nearly 150. In his now 18th season at Kansas the Jayhawks have finished over .500 13 times. He was the Big 12 Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Just last year Bechard passed the 1000 career win mark. In his 13 seasons at Barton, the native of Grinnell posted a career mark of 716-60. Bechard started coaching at Barton in 1985 after coming to the school as an assistant basketball coach from Lewis High School. He spent just one season on the basketball sidelines before taking over the volleyball program.

Bechard has taken Kansas to the NCAA Tournament six times, including the past three seasons. The team has finished second in the Big 12 the past two seasons. Prior to 2013 the Jayhawks had never finished as high as second place.

Around Campus

Another great Foundation Auction is in the books with more than $50,000 raised. The Foundation does great work to get scholarship money to students. It actually has some fancy name like Institutional Advancement or something but everyone knows it as the Foundation.

For the past several years Darnell Holopirek headed the Foundation. Her crew of Coleen Cape, Donna McCormick and Michelle Fryberger keeps things rolling smoothly.

Now Nancy Wiebe has taken over the reigns for the retired Holoperik and jumped right in with the auction. No time to stick her toe in the water, just jump in.

And Finally

So I recently heard a list of things that college freshmen ‘have never’ experienced. I guess that is counting those born after 1997. So that would include my daughter, who was born in 2000. The list has some interesting tidbits.

It is called the Mindset List put out by Beloit College in Wisconsin. This gives you a guideline of these kids’ mindset.

Those freshmen in college and younger have never licked a postage stamp. Google has always been around. There has always been a Harry Potter series. There has always been an International Space Station. Those are just a few. Shoot, my favorite Potter is Colonel Henry Potter.

But the theory is that if you want to communicate with them you have to have the mindset they do. Don’t say ‘well when I was young.’

The heck with that. I try to let my daughter, Katelyn, and her friend, Donovan, who is over to the house often, know as much as I can about ‘when I was young’.

It’s only fair. I heard it growing up. And besides how can anyone not like the 80’s?

Who really wants to live without the knowledge of mullets, coaches’ shorts and cassette tapes or 8-tracks?

It would be a crime not to teach them the world of Pong and Atari and that actually going outdoors to pass the time was normal. Phones used to have a rotary dial and not the internet. Gilligan’s Island was the most popular show on an island. Reality TV, well, I guess that was Battle of the Network Stars.

Cable TV, when it came along,  was ESPN, WGN, WTBS, and MTV. And MTV played music, go figure.

Oh well. Perhaps that’s why my daughter tells me I’m old. Maybe I am. But at least I can have the satisfaction of boring her with my stories. It’s only right.