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At the Mike: Sept. 14
One last Summer Street Stroll and becoming your parents
Mike - At the Mike

There is one more stroll left in the summer. The Great Bend Summer Street Stroll, that is. Put on by Janel Rose and the Barton County Health Department on Thursday’s throughout the summer at Jack Kilby Square, the event will wrap up this week.
And it will be going out in style. Scheduled for the final event of the summer is a suicide prevention project, Zumba exercise, American Legion Riders, and a Drum Circle in addition to the weekly vendors that set up and sell all kinds of goodies from vegetables to crafts to baked good and more.
So get out and make a late afternoon of it. Things usually get started at 4 pm and run until 7 pm.

Prep Thoughts – Part I
Volleyball season is off to a pretty good start for Great Bend High. The Panthers are 6-2, this on the heels of a tie-breaking loss for the WAC title last season. The Panthers have six players back that saw extensive playing time last season for Coach Kelsey Perry. It’s a good mix of upperclassmen and underclassmen on the squad.
Great Bend, fresh off triangular sweep Monday, have 10 days off and will not return to the court until Sept 21. That first match the 21st with No. 9 Goddard will start off a 3-day stretch of volleyball that may tell the Panthers just how good they are and where they need to improve.

Prep Thoughts – Part II
Another 6-2 week predicting area football. I missed the loss by Greta Bend to Hays and Stafford’s drubbing of Burrton. I did predict the Larned upset of Smoky Valley. Just know when my record gets to 4-4 and 3-5, I may stop predicting. You never know. But for this week, let’s do it again.
Wichita Northwest at Great Bend. This is a tough one. The Grizzlies are 1-1 with a 5-point loss to Bishop Carroll and a 17-point win over a Heights team that is down somewhat. Great Bend’s loss at Hays surprised me. This is pretty much a coin flip game to me but with GB at home, I will go with the Panthers.
Three more games are all but coin flips as well, although I think Hoisington will win by a pair of touchdowns against Hillsboro. The other two tough ones – Hesston at Larned and Otis-Bison at Central Plains. I went with the Indians in the upset last week and will do so again this week over Hesston. Central Plains has not looked ‘Central Plains good’ yet. That may come this week against Otis-Bison. I think the Oilers at least gets closer to it with the win over the Cougars.
The other four area games – Victoria beats Ellinwood, Ness City beats St. John, Macksville beats Kinsley and Central Christian beats Stafford.

Former Barton
Athlete/Coach update
Its volleyball season and that means the Ray Bechard watch is once again on. The former long-time Barton coach and now long-time Kansas Jayhawk coach has himself another ranked team in Lawrence.
The Jayhawks are off to a 9-1 start to the season and are ranked No. 9 in the nation. Kansas was 9-0 before a loss to Creighton in its last outing.
Bechard, the 2015 National Coach of the Year, is in his 20th season at the helm of KU volleyball. The Jayhawk have had five straight 20-win seasons, including a combined 60-6 in 2015 and 2016.

Referee House
Saturday youth football. It can be interesting, to say the least. I really think those coaching and the parents need to understand just what the program is for – developing the kids, teaching them the right way to play and allowing them to have fun.
Many coaches and parents do not understand this. I can tell you that going from Friday night football to Saturday youth football is night and day – both literally and figuratively. I’m not talking on the field. I’m talking on the sideline. I have two and three times more troubles with coaches at youth football than varsity, junior varsity and even junior high combined.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many coaches who are doing things as they should. But several are not. It is really not about winning at that level. It’s nice if you win, but it should not be the goal of the youth football program.
To this day – 17 years of officiating – the only coach I have ever thrown out of a football game was in youth football.

And Finally
Eventually it happens. Sometimes you don’t realize it. But eventually we all pick up traits of our parents as we get older.
I had this realization again this past week. Our dog Waffle was out back, letting the neighborhood know he was out. Barking up a storm. I went out to get him. I marched out the door, across the deck, and down the ramp.
‘You get your rear end in the house,” I said. In he ran.
Then is hit me. That was my mother talking to me. You see, as a child I might have been somewhat, let’s call it ‘mischievous’ or ‘rambunctious’ at times. And every so often my mother would have to let me know, in a bit of a stern voice, I was being such.
In fact, I bet she used that exact phrase on me. More than once. And I probably sprinted in the house, just like Waffle did.
Fortunately, for the most part, I have not had to use that stern voice on Katelyn. Usually it is Waffle. He seems to be the troublemaker in the family. No, make that the ‘mischievous’ or ‘rambunctious’ one. But it worked on him just as it used to work on me.
Perhaps this would be a good time to apologize to my parents for all those times I was mischievous or rambunctious.
My wife tells me when I do something that resembles my parents.
This isn’t a bad thing. I have some great parents and would be proud to be like them.
It actually starts earlier in life than we realize sometimes. I started calling Katelyn ‘Junior’ years ago when she would do something that reminded me of her mother.
But as you get older, those moments come more often.
At least you realize them more often.
Who knows, someday both Crystal and I may have our own remote control to the TV. Sitting in our own chairs, turning the volume up and down in a battle with one another.

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