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At the Mike: Dec. 21
The Christmas holidays can bring a lot of activity
Mike - At the Mike

The Christmas holidays can bring a lot of activity
It’s almost here. Christmas is just around the corner now. For some, decorations and Christmas trees have been up since, like, Halloween. But I digress.
It is my favorite holiday, hands down. I like being able to spend time with family. I love going to Glen Elder and seeing my mom and dad, brother and sisters and their families. None of the nieces and nephews are in Glen Elder anymore, but they all come back to God’s Country for the holidays as well.
I enjoy spending time with my in-laws during this time as well. It is a spread out family that goes from South Carolina, to Indiana to Kansas City to Colorado. A couple of days cooped up in a house with like 15 in-laws – how can one not enjoy that. Just kidding. It’s always a fun time.
But I also like just being at home with my wife and daughter. It’s nice to be around with Crystal and Katelyn for a few days. Shoot, I don’t even mind Donovan around the holidays.
We will travel to both Glen Elder and Tonganoxie during the Christmas break. Many, many folks will be traveling over the next week or so. Those that are, be cautious and be safe. That is the most important thing.

Prep thoughts
The Central Plains boys are fresh off a big early season win over the defending state champion and the team that ended the Oilers run through the state tournament last season.
Central Plains handed Sacred Heart a 53-45 loss in a hard-fought defensive battle Tuesday night in Claflin. The Oilers will get to ride that win into the Christmas Break still unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 2A.
It was the first time a team played closer than 18 to Central Plains. The Oilers have a legitimate chance this season to pull off a rare double – winning both the boys and girls state titles. But that is looking a bit into the future.

Former Athlete/Coach update
Let’s check in on the NCAA D-II coaches in the state that used to head the Barton women’s program.
Up in Hays, Tony Hobson has himself a 10-2 basketball team. The Fort Hays women have losses to Emporia State and Washburn but do have a win over Pittsburg State, where another former Cougar coaches in Lane Lord.
The two met up in early December with Fort Hays winning 75-70 in Gross Memorial on the campus of Fort Hays.
While neither team is in the Top 25 poll currently, both Pitt State (8-3) and Fort Hays are in the top 10 in the D-II version of the RPI with the Gorillas at No. 7 and the Tigers at No. 10.
Good luck to Coach Hobson and Coach Lord. They have built solid programs at their schools.

And Finally
One of the best things about working at the college is the final two weeks of December. Barton is closed. That is two weeks to accomplish tasks.
To make things even better, Crystal, Katelyn and USD 428 doesn’t let out until Thursday. That gave me four full days home alone to tackle these tasks.
I have spent them very productively. I did go out to the college for a bit on Tuesday, so that was productive.
The main task I have tackled at home has been time spent winning bingo – on my phone. I have played it for quite a few hours.
I have also spent time watching our cat, Tater, antagonize the dogs – mostly our bigger dog, Waffle. Tater weighs in all of about maybe 8-10 pounds. Waffle, well he is in the 40-pound range. But, make no mistake, Tater runs the house.
We’ve had our cats, Tater and Kitty, for 13 years now. They have been around the longest. The pecking order of which animal is in charge at our house is longevity.
Daisy, my little chihuahua-terrier mix, has been around for six years. She follows the cats and then Waffle, the biggest of all, is last at just two years old.
So what Tater likes to do is run through the house suddenly. And back. This gets Waffle up chasing her. She will do this a few times, then be done. When she is done, she simply swats Waffle across the nose and goes and lays down.
I will say this for our cats, they leave our Christmas tree alone. Back in their youth they knocked balls off the tree, but haven’t done anything to the tree for several years now. Of course, with Kitty weighing in at about 18 pounds, she doesn’t destroy much of anything around the house but the big pillow she lies on. It was actually bought for Waffle, but she took it over almost immediately.
The other day I watched the 1973 Sugar Bowl between Alabama and Notre Dame on ESPN Classic. That was interesting. Of all the things I noticed, besides the wishbone attack, was how much the mechanics of the officials has changed in nearly 45 years.
Let’s see, I took a nap. Twice. Okay, maybe three times total. I also shuffled through the presents under the tree to see how good I was this year. I watched Katelyn study. Two Government tests in one week, way to go Mrs. Harris. Keep those kids learning.
Oh, and I wrote this column. And perhaps watched Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel. But I’m not confessing to that just yet.
I did manage to make a roast and do some laundry all in one day, so I have that going for me, which is nice.
Okay, so I haven’t accomplished many tasks yet. But there is still time. Maybe.
Merry Christmas to all.

Mike Marzolf is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at