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At the Mike
Play Ball! MLB is underway and so is the battle against weeds
spt CougarHead2C

 Maybe it’s finally next year.

I try to stay away from writing much about sports on the national level. There are plenty of other people smarter than me on those subjects. They must be smarter, they get paid a lot more and are on national television.

But as Major League Baseball heads into a new season my excitement level is near an all-time high. You see, I am a Cubs fan. I have been rooting for the Chicago Cubs since WGN came to Glen Elder in 1979. Just maybe this is the year. 

It has been 106 years since the Cubs won a World Series. It has been since 1945 when Billy Sianis put the ‘Curse of the Billy Goat’ on the Cubs they last played in a World Series. There have been some monumental, high-profiles collapses since then.

Just about everyone else around these parts got their World Series winner year when Kansas City won the title. Here’s hoping the loveable losers get theirs this year.

Prep thoughts

One more chapter on basketball before we close the books for the season. The Kansas Basketball Coaches Association released its all-state and all star game players. Locally, the Great Bend area was well represented.

Leading the way were a pair of Central Plains Oiler seniors that capped a season with a third straight state title on the girls’ side. Reagan Phelan and Taylor Rolfs were both first team picks in Class 2A for the girls. Teammate Janae Ryan was an honorable pick.

For the boys in 2A, senior Michael Ryan of Central Plains was a first team selection. Juniors Cole Kinnamon of St. John was a second team selection and Jorge Callores an honorable mention pick.

Great Bend’s Carley Brack was one of three sophomores recognized in Class 5A where she was named honorable mention. Senior Ryleigh Koester of Hoisington was honorable mention in 3A girls.

Rolfs and Phelan will take part in the KBCA All Star Girls Game in Salina on June 25 while Ryan will do likewise for the boys.

Former athlete/coach update

One of the best athletes to walk the halls of Barton was back on campus this past week – Hyleas Fountain. Fountain was one of the best heptathlon athletes junior college ever witnessed. One of the best the United States ever had as well. She won an Olympic silver medal and only Jackie Joyner Kersee is more decorated in the event from the US.

Fountain is now in the coaching world. She is an assistant coach at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla. She is in her second year with the Wildcats, coaching the men’s and women’s multi events and men’s and women’s throwers.

Oh, and in the midst of Olympic appearances, Fountain took some time to help the US win a bronze medal in the North American Cup in – the bobsled. She was the push athlete and aided pilot Megan Hill for the bronze. 

As I said, one of the greatest athletes to walk the hall of Barton.

Around campus

Tonight is the night if you like instrumental and vocal performances. Barton will be hosting its student recital at the Dorothy Moses Morrison Chapel at 7:30 pm. The Chapel is located in the Fine Arts building. The recital is free.

Half of the 10 or so performances will be from students from Great Bend. It will involve students from keyboard, instrumental and vocal with a mix of traditional, adult students and high schools students enrolled at the college.

And finally

Spring is here. This year instead of rain it has brought wind. At least so far. 

With spring comes the beginning of the yard battle. Man against weeds. Man versus flowers. Man versus trees. Water usually helps the latter two. Weeds, well it just doesn’t seem to matter. They grow just fine without water.

The battle against weeds got off to good start when my friend Steve Webster text me one day and said he had extra crab grass killer and went to my house spread it on the yard. That was nice of him. 

But then lawn weeds with purple flowers showed up as usual. Henbit or whatever it is called. That battle is now underway.

I do pretty good on the lawn. But in my neighborhood I am out-gunned. Most have automatic sprinklers. Several have blue grass, which is already a nice green color. 

Me, I have a tractor on a hose that waters the yard. It takes about five hours and if I do it during the heat of the day, Steve will call me out on the radio. I have Bermuda grass, which is still brown.

Katelyn described our house once as the one with the brown grass in elementary school when doing a spring project for school. I told her it will turn green when the heat comes. She didn’t care. 

So now it is time to roll up the sleeves and declare war. Time to eliminate the purple from the yard. Well, except for the tulips that are growing nicely at this point. Time to get the new Dwarf Mulberry Tree growing and weeping like it should. And the peonies and whatever those other flowers my wife has had me plant are called.

It is a project that will take a lot of my time. Many hours.

Here is a little secret that wives don’t need to know – men like yard work because it gets them out of the house. 

But don’t tell Crystal. She thinks I really do like yard work.