Winston Churchill, Brittain’s cigar-smoking leader during World War II, is famous for his “Never, ever, ever, ever give up” speech to his people. The Larned Indian football team has taken that to heart and built on it as they have resurrected their 2016 football season.
Tuesday evening, after falling behind 14-0, those “never give up” words came into play as, for the second straight game, Larned overcame a 14-0 first-quarter deficit to rally for a win. After an 0-6 start to this 2016 season, the Indians needed those “never give up” words as well as they have rebounded to win three of their last four games. Only a loss to powerhouse Hoisington mars the four-game run.
Tuesday evening, in Cimarron, Larned never gave up and ousted a 7-2 Cimarron team from the playoffs. It is the first playoff win for a Larned football team since 1985! Larned last made the playoffs in 2013, falling to an outstanding Andale team in the 4A playoffs.
Saturday evening Larned will host a second-round playoff game against Phillipsburg, a team that soundly defeated Larned, 50-0, earlier in the season, contributing to the Indians 0-6 start. Coach A.B. Stokes and his staff junked their early-season offense and installed a new run-oriented attack and the Indians took to it like ducks to water.
The Larned coaches didn’t give up on this season. Neither did the Larned players and because of that spirit they’ve kept the dream of this 2016 season alive.
Never, ever, ever, ever give up!
Powerhouse football in the Golden Plains. How’s this for elite football? Great Bend 9-1. Central Plains 10-0. Hoisington 10-0 and Spearville 10-0. Couple that with the late-season surge by Larned and area fans have a multitude of schools playing outstanding football!
Perhaps no other conference has bigger bragging rights than the Central Kansas League, a league of 3A and 4A schools. These CKL schools all made the playoffs: Hesston, Smoky Valley, Halstead, Pratt, Nickerson, Hoisington and Larned. Several are expected to contend for a state championship.
In 5A and 6A, the Western Athletic Conference is represented by Great Bend and Garden City. Lawrence Free State (7-2) makes the long trek to Garden City (9-0). While Free State is looking out the bus for Cowboys and Indians, the Buffaloes will be stampeding! Garden City 30, Free State 17.
Great Bend hosts its’ second straight playoff game as Andover comes calling. The second-seeded Black Panthers have been on a season-long offensive tear but don’t be fooled, a lot of that is set up by a good defense. Panther defense controls this one. Great Bend 33, Andover 14.
The Hoisington express keeps right on rolling as they knock off Norton and the Big One in 8-Man football is Spearville at Central Plains on Saturday. Two undefeated heavyweights. This just might be the state championship game!
CHALK TALK: It could not have been sweeter! Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs and it took all seven games to sort it out. A true baseball lover’s delight! Does any college basketball coach exhibit more class than Washburn’s Bob Chipman? Sorry to see him moving on after his 41st year as boss of the Ichabods. I don’t know about you but I miss Len Dawson’s wry wit and honesty as color man on the Chiefs’ radio network. He’s not doing road games this year and somehow, those broadcasts just aren’t needed. His honest analysis of the Chiefs’ play was a welcome balance to Mitch Holthus over-the-top exuberance!
Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. You can reach Charlie @ email@example.com