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At the Mike: Jan. 18
The weather is literally on a yo-yo and saying goodbye to Daisy
Mike - At the Mike

The saying is over-used. Almost a worn out cliché. But we have definitely hit a stretch where is it almost true. The saying goes ‘It’s Kansas, if you don’t like the weather, stick around for 24 hours and it will be different.’
How about almost 70 degrees Wednesday afternoon and a winter weather advisory for Wednesday night. A brisk north wind and, yes, snow.
But, hey, it’s supposed to be back up to the mid 40’s by Sunday. Then down to single digits overnight Monday into Tuesday. Then in the 50’s next weekend.
So get out the snow boots, covered overalls, crocks and shorts. You never know which you will be wearing from day to day. Actually, I wear crocks pretty much year ‘round. Although snow does tend to change that from time to time.

Prep thoughts
It’s almost tournament week. At least tournament week, Part I. The Hoisington Winter Jam and the St. John Mid-Winter Classic are two events that have several area teams duking it out.
The Mid-Winter Classic should be a real battle for the boys. Top ranked 2A Central Plains is the top seed and favorite. But the bottom half of that bracket should be tremendous. Host St. John gets Larned in the opening round and third seed Ness City gets Macksville. Any of those four teams could come out of the bottom half to battle Central Plains for the title Saturday night. St. John is ranked No. 2 in 1A, DI. Ness City No. 8 and Macksville No. 9 in 2A. And Larned gave Macksville all it wanted earlier this season.
In Hoisington, the Russell girls are probably the favorite. The Broncos are ranked No. 8 in 3A. But don’t count out Otis-Bison, the No. 7 team in 1A, DII. For the boys, wow. Looking over the bracket, it might be easier to draw names from a hat to pick a favorite. Otis-Bison is really good, ranked No. 1 in 1A, DII. The Cougars would have to be favored. But it could be a wide-open Winter Jam on the boys’ side this year.

Former Barton athlete/coach update
There is a showdown tonight at Freedom Hall in Johnson City, Tenn. Steve Forbes and his East Tennessee State men’s basketball take the court with the Southland Conference lead on the line.
After leading the Bucs to the NCAA tournament last season, the former Barton coach’s team lost several key members. The defending SoCon champs were picked fourth in the preseason poll. Picked ahead of them were Mercer, Samford and Furman. The Bucs already have road wins at Mercer and Samford.
So far, the Bucs are 3-0 in conference play – all three wins by 18 points or more. They are tied with Furman. UNC Greensboro is 2-0. Tonight Greensboro pays a visit to ETSU to remain unbeaten in the conference.

Kansas fun fact
Hunting, of course, is big in Kansas. Everyone who has ever shot a pheasant can probably tell you the first time they downed a bird. For the serious, or even several casual hunters, knowing the hunting seasons is more important than your in-laws names.
But there might be a few rules many of those hunters do not know.
For instance, Kansas Game rules prohibit the use of mules to hunt ducks. It is also not permitted to shoot rabbits from a motorboat.
And for the chicken thieves out there, it is illegal for them to work during the daylight hours.
Oh, and it’s also illegal to hunt whales in Kansas. Just in case.

And Finally
It’s been a rough few days around our house.
For those who read At the Mike regularly, you know we are a pet family. Two dogs, two cats, three guinea pigs and two hedgehogs.
Those animals have always played a big part of our lives. Sunday evening, Crystal, Katelyn and myself lost one of those pets. My little girl Daisy May, our Chihuahua-terrier mix, was run over and died.
Now, in the big world scope of things, that is a trivial thing. It’s not a human life. But in the real world that we actually live in, that world inside the walls of our own home, it’s can be pretty devastating.
Daisy was seven years old. Born in August, we acquired her in, I believe, April that following year. She would have been about eight months old when we got her. I remember being at a Barton baseball game and Crystal called and said that Deb Webster, my best friend Steve’s lovely wife, knew of a dog that needed a home. So we took her.
While she was loved by all in the family and loved them back, those who knew her best would tell you she was particularly partial to me. And I her.
I know in time when I see her picture, I will have nothing but smiles. When I’m sitting around doing nothing and think of her, it will be a big smile. In time, that will happen, I know.
But for now, it’s tough for Crystal, Katelyn and myself as well as our other dog – Waffle. He is also showing the effects of Daisy not being around.
But I also remind myself that grief is not possible without the happy times that proceeded it. And those times, those fun times, I would not trade for anything. Losing those you love is tough. But the alternative – not ever having them in your life – is even worse.
I would like to thank the young lady that stopped when she saw Daisy in the street. I’m sorry I didn’t get your name at the time. I just didn’t think about it. The concern you showed for a pet and a family that were complete strangers to you was touching. Your concern even brought you into our house to see if there was anything you could do to help.
If anyone who reads this knows who she is, thank her for me.
Also a thanks to Doc Briel, Daisy’s doctor. While he was not on call at 6:30 Sunday evening, Dr. Niederee, who was on call and was very kind as well, let him know. First thing next morning, Doc Briel called my wife to express his grief.
While losing a pet is tough, I can take comfort in knowing the nearly seven years we had her, she knew she was loved and was an extremely happy dog.
Rest in Peace my little Princess.

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