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At the Mike
Get out and cheer on the Panthers
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Special to the Tribune

It doesn’t get much better for the first Friday in November. A home playoff game. It has been a while since Great Bend has been able to play into November and now they get to do it at home.

High school sports are about more than just the kids playing them. While they are indeed the focus it is about the entire community. There is pride in success. 

The Panther Booster Club is doing some fun stuff to entice a nice crowd to attend the game. So get off the couch and head to the game. Festivities start at 5 with Booster Club and kick off is set for 7 p.m. So show some Panther pride Friday night in what should be a great game.

Remember – It’s Great … to be … a Great Bend High Panther!

Prep thoughts

It is the matchup everyone has been waiting for since week one. Shoot, since August 17 and the first day of fall sports practice – Central Plains and Spearville. 

While not to jinx the winner of that game, there is a good chance it is for the state title. It was an epic battle last in Claflin that saw the Oilers come away with a 42-40 win. It was their closest game of the year on their way to a state title. This time the scene shifts west to Spearville but expect another memorable contest.

As far as Hoisington, I think its epic battles are still a round or two away. Look for the Cardinals to take care of Washington County and set up a big-time showdown at Halstead on the 13th. And possibly Scott City or Wichita Collegiate in sub-state. We’ll not get ahead things just yet, but the possibility is there.

Former athlete/coach update

I will use this space this week to congratulate a good friend of mine for his most recent achievement. 

Congratulations Lyles Lashley. 

Coach Lashley has won many a title – including national titles while in charge of the Barton track program.

But I think he just got his most coveted title this past weekend – the Class 2A Girls Cross Country State Championship. The past five years his Ellinwood team had seen four runner-ups and third place effort. He already has a boys state title – three in row in fact from 2011-13. 

But that girls’ title has eluded him. Being the smart guy I am, I knew it was just a matter of time. Lyles is too good of a coach to keep coming up just a tad bit short.

The neat thing – the Eagles left no doubt winning by 45 points. Don’t look now but this just might be the first of …. perhaps we will leave it at that.

Around campus

Game night at Barton. That happens all the time right, especially with basketball underway.

This, however, is a different type of Game Night. This one includes Apples to Apples, Battleship, Monopoly and more. 

The event takes place Sunday night starting at 5:30 at the library. There is even a “Minute to Win It” event set for 6:30. 

Free snacks and drinks will be provided and the Game Night is open to students, employees and community members.

And Finally

It’s Tuesday night and the high school football playoffs are underway. Our crew doesn’t have a game to officiate that night. Ours is in the next round. So what do I do?

Travel with my buddy and fellow official Steve Webster some 80 miles to, yes, watch a football game. Why take advantage of a night off and rest, there is football to watch, right?

And by looking at things the two games closest in proximity – Hoisington and Central Plains – were slated for blowout status. So we traveled to find a good game. We did – a 46-44 down-the-wire contest.

I must say it is a bit different actually paying to get into a game. I wasn’t sure what to do with myself for most of the night. We sat in the stands on the home side for the opening half then stood on the sidelines of the visitors the second half.

The crazy thing is while at the concession stand at halftime we ran into another official from another town who also had the night off. A night he, too, chose to drive and spend watching football. As you can tell, officials aren’t the brightest bulbs in the chandelier.

It was refreshing to see just how friendly people are in a setting like that. As the three of us stood on what used to be a track for the second half, several people made conversation with us, including the coaches mother. 

They didn’t know us from Adam. Just being friendly, while pacing and squirming.

Although with further conversation the coach’s mother did know my brother and sister. 

Small world, huh.