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At the Mike
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Legion baseball, prep physicals, and the stupidity line
Another weekend, another American Legion baseball tournament at the Great Bend Sports Complex. Three in a row. First the AAA Zone, the A State and now AAA State. The center of the state has been the center of Legion baseball.
Legion baseball has long been a favorite of mine. I played it when I was young for Beloit. Watch the Pratt 86ers win a pair of state titles when I worked there and have followed Coach Roger Ward and his players this summer with high interest.
It is too bad it isn’t as popular as it once was in Kansas. With the growth of other summer baseball outlets, Legion baseball in Kansas is dwindling in numbers. At all three levels – A, AA, AAA two teams now make state out of every zone.
It is impossible to play a full schedule of only Legion teams. If the trend continues, we may be in the final stages of Legion baseball in Kansas. That would be sad. Very sad.
In other states, such as Nebraska, Legion baseball is still strong. Very strong. Hopefully it will level off and make a comeback in Kansas.
Prep Thoughts
August is almost here and with it the start of fall sports at the prep level. The main star in the fall is of course football. Great Bend will have a new coach and several starters back from a playoff team.
But several other fall sports should do very well in addition to football. There is excitement for the cross country teams, also under the direction of a new coach. Volleyball has some solid players back as do boy’s soccer and girl’s golf and tennis.
Free physicals for all sports at both the middle school and high school are just more than a week away for Great Bend athletes. They will take place Aug. 6, at the high school commons.
Former Athlete/Coach update
Much of my coverage for the upcoming Olympics has centered around former athletes competing in Rio. Today we will say congratulations to a former athlete who is coaching a handful of athletes at the Rio Olympics.
Joey Scott, a hurdler for Barton about 15 years ago, will coach three hurdlers and a sprinter at the Games next month. Scott will coach Antwan Hicks for Nigeria, Ronald Forbes for the Cayman Islands, and Jeff Julmis of Haiti in the 110m hurdles.
In addition, his toughest coaching job is probably that of the 100m sprinter he will coach – his wife. Taheisa Harrigan Scott will run the 100m for the British Virgin Islands.
Good luck to Coach Scott and his athletes.
Around Campus
Here’s to Coleen Cape and her new position of Executive Director of Institutional Advancement. That’s head coach of the Foundation for us sports minds.
The ladies in the Foundation office are some of my favorite people on campus. Coleen, Donna and Michelle can always put a smile on your face. Always upbeat. Just fun to be around.
And let me tell you, upbeat and fun is important when they are trying to get your money.
And Finally
Sometimes there is a fine line between challenging yourself and stupidity. I came close to crossing it this week.
Tuesday Katelyn had her cross country workout set for that evening. She had another commitment as well so I told Coach Lyles Lashley she would be a little late but would start running the workout when she got there.
No problem. No stupidity yet. Fearing that all the other runners would have started before she got there and not wanting to run by herself, Katelyn asked if I would run it with her when we arrived.
I told her yes. Now we are flirting with that stupidity line.
As we arrived at the location the other runners hadn’t started yet. They are just getting ready to. I thought whew, I don’t have to run. But she still wanted me to run with her. So I did.
I told myself the following – it wasn’t as hot as it had been; football officiating is around the corner so this would be good for me; and I used to be a pretty good distance runner.
About 10 minutes into the journey I realized that I was teetering on that challenging/stupidity line.
I was now telling myself – yes it IS still hot out; I have NEVER run for 10 straight minutes officiating and I never REALLY liked running distance anyway.
By this time my shirt was a much darker shade of green, my feet felt like sand bags and legs like rubber. And we weren’t even half done. I thought I had indeed crossed that stupidity line.
But the dad in me told myself I will keep up with Katelyn. So on we went, 15 minutes then 20 minutes. I could finally see the end. We crossed the pole some 23 minutes and 2.5 miles later.
I was alive and still walking. When it was all said and done I didn’t cross the line. I stayed on the challenging side.
But let me tell you, I got as close as I want to the stupidity line. Maybe even straddled it for a while.