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At the Mike: Sept. 22
A fall tradition continues with Homecoming
Mike - At the Mike

Homecoming. It is a part of the fall football season. In our immediate area. Larned and Hoisington already had their Homecoming. A win on the football field for both. Ellinwood has its this week. Great Bend takes its turn next week when Wichita West comes to Memorial Stadium.
But it is more than a Friday night football game. It is a week’s worth of activities. At GBHS there will be America Monday. Heroes vs Villains Tuesday. Welcome to the Jungle Wednesday. Disney Thursday and Red and Black Friday.
Awards are given each day. Just for fun, a late start day is throw in Wednesday and Friday is early dismissal for the parade. You can’t beat that if you are student. Or teacher for that matter.
So enjoy the upcoming week of festivities at GBHS. After all, it won’t happen again for another 52 weeks – give or take a week or two. Except for that Winter Homecoming thing, of course.

Thoughts – Part I
This week I will step outside the Golden Belt a bit here and take you to Coldwater. Last week something heart-warming took place when Zach Jellison scored a touchdown for South Central – a consolidation of the towns Coldwater and Protection.
You see, Zach was born with spina bifida and uses a wheel chair to get around. The boy with wheels, he is known by. He is a member of the football team but, in a wheel chair, doesn’t get to compete. He is always on the sideline with his football shirt on.
Last Friday he served as captain and was able to take part in the coin toss. But it gets better. During South Central’s 53-6 win over Ingalls, a South Central player broke free and stopped and took a knee at the one.
Zach came into the game and was pushed into the end zone by a teammate for a touchdown. While he has won a bunch of medals in Special Olympics, that touchdown will be with him forever. Google it for video, it’s pretty cool.

Thoughts – Part II
So another 6-2 week predicting the area games. Great Bend and Larned weren’t able to get the upset wins I thought they might. Oh well, 18-6 in three weeks will keep me predicting.
Let’s start with Great Bend again this week. The Panthers have dropped two straight and are in need of a win when they travel to Dodge City. Slowly, this young team is growing. I think this week it grows some more and picks up the win over Dodge.
Larned has another chance to get a win against a team it lost to last year when the Indians travel to Halstead. I still like the makeup of this Larned team and will predict a win on the road.
The other big game of note in the area will be the rivalry game in St. John. Macksville travels the short distance and should leave Tiger Country with a win.
Elsewhere, Washington County has already forfeited its game against Hoisington. Central Plains will have no troubles with Kinsley. Ness City will get past Ellinwood and Stafford picks up win number two at Oxford.

Referee House
We had our first Homecoming of the season this past Friday. I am not sure how many we will see this year, but one year we had the pleasure of officiating five, perhaps it was six, Homecoming games.
It tends to throw routines off as an official. With many schools having their ceremonies about 6:30, teams leave the field earlier than most nights so conferences with coaches can be altered somewhat.
Homecoming is a fun time. But it is not nearly as fun for officials. Don’t get me wrong, I do like them. Many times it is a great crowd that brings a great atmosphere to the night. It just throws off routines. I’m a routine kind of guy.
Look, I made it through a Referee House without complaining about youth football coaches. We will just leave it at that.

And Finally
Homecoming. As mentioned before I see several of them a year. It isn’t unusual for us to watch the festivities and blindly pick the winner. Sometimes we are right but most often we are not.
I remember Homecoming my senior year as the only football game we won that year. We beat an undefeated Westmoreland team that year. They came in 5-0 and left 5-1. They no longer have a school, it is now Rock Creek. I do not think that loss had anything to do with it, but who knows for sure.
Homecomings have changed a lot in the 10 years since I played. Well, maybe 20 years. Okay, it’s been like 30 years.
There was no spirit week to my recollection. There was a school wide pep rally the night before. Usually following the junior high game in Glen Elder. Watermelon was served, perhaps a routine and some cheerleader stuff took place.
That was about it. Oh, and a Homecoming Dance afterwards. Being a small school, all alumni were welcome at the dance at the Glen Elder Gym. Dances, for the most part, are a thing of the past.
If I were to put together a spirit week lineup it would go something like this.
Monday would be ‘I hate Missouri Monday’. While not in the Big 12 anymore, I still despise the Tigers. Although not school related at all, it is just fun to hate on Missouri.
How about Black Light Tuesday. Or Disco Tuesday. Line the halls with black lights or Disco lights and boogie your way around the school. Just no strobe lights. Not a fan of those at all.
How about ‘I woke up like this Wednesday.’ Don’t worry about getting ready. Messy hair, no shower, wearing your pajamas or whatever you wear to bed. Just make sure you wear something to bed.
My favorite would be Throwback Thursday. Everyone could relive the 80’s. The best decade of all. Big hair, leather pants and aerobics outfits. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Friday could be Furry Friend Friday. Everyone could bring their pets to school. There might be some pet skirmishes but, hey, that would just set the stage for the football game that night.
Happy Homecoming.

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