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At the Mike
Prep football opens with as many questions as answers
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At the Mike

As mentioned last week in At the Mike, former Barton coach Ray Bechard was in search of his 300th career win at the University of Kansas. He did that in short order sweeping Western Illinois and Duke at the Kansas Invitational to earn that milestone on the opening Friday of play.

The Jayhawks then beat UMKC on Saturday to complete the event with a 3-0 mark. The Jayhawks are currently 6-0 on the young season.

Prep thoughts

What an opening weekend of high school football. There were some surprises for sure. But sometimes it is hard to sort it all out until another week is under the belt.

Great Bend earned itself a good win to start the season. But another week will tell another story. The Panthers will get nemesis Hays High this weekend. Hays is coming off a loss to Olathe Northwest – the same way the Indians started last season. The prevailing thought is that Hays is going to be down a bit this year so this is a chance for the Panthers to do something they haven’t done since 2010 and get a W against their heated rival.

Speaking of prevailing thoughts, wasn’t La Crosse supposed to be down this year? The loss of good players finally caught up to the Leopards right? Well …….. maybe not. All La Crosse did was defeat the No. 3 team in Class 2-1A, Olpe, by a 22-12 score.

And that makes this Friday’s matchup with Larned all that more intriguing. The Indians came out flat and made numerous mistakes as Hoisington exploded to 35-0 lead Friday night. Now Larned will play host to La Crosse in what has become a very interesting contest. The Indians need the win to gather themselves for a stretch of winnable games before district.

Former athlete/coach update

This week we will stay with the volleyball theme. And in the Big XII. And in the state of Kansas. This time looking at Susie Fritz and the Kansas State volleyball team.
Then Susie Wiemers was a standout for Barton in the early ‘90’s as the Cougars went 107-10 in her two season and reached the NJCAA Final Four twice. She was inducted into the Barton Hall of Fame in 2005.

She started her coaching career at Barton as well as an assistant in the mid ‘90’s. She went on to be an assistant at Kansas State for a couple of seasons before taking over the head job in 2001.

Her teams have won 20 games in 10 of her 14 years at the helm of the Wildcats including a 30-5 year in 2003. That is a school record for wins. Her teams have reached the NCAA Tournament 10 times going to the Regional semifinals in 2003 and 2011.

Her Wildcats are off to a 5-1 start to the season this year.

Around campus

Another Labor Day down and another great showing by Barton at the parade in Hoisington. Athletes, organizations and groups all head north the few miles to take part every year.

It is always great to see the turnout that campus gives to a local community.

It was a hot one this year and not everyone had a spot on the float. One of those who ‘took one for the team’ was Barton basketball coach Craig Fletchall. He walked the parade route alongside the float. When he was done it looked as if his daughters had sprayed him with a garden hose.

But chalk one up for Fletch – he made it through in good health.

And finally

I have played Fantasy Football for several years – almost too many I realized Sunday afternoon. I play in two leagues out of Hays which started nearly 30 years ago when I lived there.

We all still get together and have our draft every year in Hays. It has since spread out to encompass people who have moved away to towns such as Great Bend, Salina, Colby, and then some.

In one of the leagues – the Dry Plains League – several of the members have been around for years. And it showed Sunday.

It seemed like every pick was followed by a phrase like … What? Who was that pick? I didn’t hear that, who was it? Who? Could you say that again.

The league is definitely aging. A majority of the people had their reading glasses on their nose to look down then look up over the top of them.

The Wet Plains League has some younger people in turnover over the years. So there were only a few of us that couldn’t quite hear.

Maybe we need to invite an ear doctor to join the league for some half-price hearing aids next season.