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Behind the headline
Charlie's Inside Corner
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LARNED — While most of the world is focused on the Oscar Pistorius murder trial (What is it about a guy that runs on blades instead of feet that creates so much interest?) a lot is happening that might escape you.
Yours truly is on a mission to make sure you aren’t diverted from important happenings.
Despite the hype, despite the promises, our Kansas City Royals are right where they have usually been for the last quarter of a century — in last place.  
It’s not just that the Boys in Blue have been losing, it’s that they are losing like ... well, ... the Chicago Cubs!
One game they can’t hit.
When they do hit they can’t pitch.
When, on those rare occasions  that they perform both hitting and pitching during the same game, they forget how to catch the ball.
The hope is that they don’t dig such a deep hole that when/if they get it all together they won’t be able to make a run for the playoffs.  
Don’t ever stop hoping.
Speaking of bad baseball, the Wichita State Shockers jump to the front of the line.
I know, that sounds weird doesn’t it? Shocker baseball and winning have been as consistent as ducks and geese going south in the Winter.
New coach Todd Butler has watched his current Shockers set one new first after another and those firsts haven’t been in the standings!
Wichita State sits alone in last place in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Can the end of the world be near?
I doubt that former coach Gene Stephenson, the legend that built this program, is smiling though. These are still his recruits.
Maybe that tells us why the coaching change was made.
How many of you runners got a T-shirt that says “PYONGYANG MARATHON, 2014?
What, you didn’t jog over to North Korea for the annual Pyongyang marathon?
You’re not going to let Dennis Rodman be the only American athlete to travel to North Korea are you?
Kim Jong-un could be your buddy too!
Of course if you don’t win you might be locked in a bamboo cage for a few years!
When the All-State Basketball teams were announced a couple of weeks ago, the Top Five included Joe Schneider of Lansing, a 6-foot-2 senior who led Lansing to its first-ever state title.
Schneider is the grandson of Ray and Jo Reep of Larned. Jo was the long-time successful girls tennis coach at Larned High School.
After leading Lansing to a 25-0 record-setting season, Schneider has committed and signed with the Air Force Academy.
An area player who I don’t think got enough state-wide recognition is Tanner Tranbarger of Macksville.
Tranbarger, a senior guard for the Mustangs, was a dominant force in the super-tough Central Prairie League that featured St.John-Hudson and Central Plains, two of the better Class 2A teams in the state.
Tranbarger led Macksville to a state tournament berth in 1A Division-I.
Area college and junior college coaches would be well served in taking a closer look at this overlooked athlete.
Take a look at college basketball and one has to marvel at the impact that the midlands had this past year on college basketball.  
NCAA tournament teams from just the area were — KU, K-State, Wichita State, Iowa, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Tulsa, Nebraska and Creighton.
Not a bad showing from America’s breadbasket!

Charles Tabler is a contributing writer from Larned.