There’s an old adage that goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” For the three largest schools in our area, Great Bend, Larned and Hoisington, we might add, “It’s going to get tough, so you’d better get going.” We’re talking about their respective 2018 football schedules.
Based on won-loss records so far in 2017, Larned would appear to have the toughest slate for 2018. Their schedule looks like this: Smoky Valley, Hesston, Hoisington, Pratt, Holcomb, Nickerson, Hugoton and Kingman. There’s not a “gimme” on there! The combined record of those opponents so far in 2017 is 39 wins and only 17 losses. It is a schedule that will demand great conditioning, determination and just a little bit of good fortune. The last five games are district games, providing one of the toughest district schedules in the new 3A division. Larned coach A.B. Stokes has been very successful at building up the numbers at Larned and, with that schedule, big numbers will be needed to provide some depth.
The Hoisington Cardinals also have an attractive, and tough, schedule, though not quite the mettle of Larned’s. They have Pratt, Nickerson, Larned, TMP, Ellsworth, Minneapolis, Phillipsburg and Norton. The current win-loss record of those teams in the 2017 season is 37-19. The district games for the Cardinals do not look quite as intimidating , though Phillipsburg and Norton are strong programs.
Great Bend’s schedule will look different in 2018 as well, though not as intimidating as some. The Black Panthers have Andover, Hays, Wichita Northwest, Dodge City, Bishop Carroll, Andover Central, Liberal and Garden City. Four of those opponents currently have losing records and the total win-loss so far in 2017 for all of those teams is 34 wins and 22 losses.
Of course the strength of teams can and does vary from year to year but, still, there is some continuity as to which schools have winning programs and which don’t. Based on what we see for 2018, fans in Larned, Great Bend and Hoisington are guaranteed of seeing a lot of quality opponents on their football fields. None of the three will have an easy time of it which returns us to, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”
— As a Chiefs’ fan, when you see Pittsburgh on the schedule, regular season or playoffs, you’ve gotta tremble! The Steelers seem to have the Chiefs number.
— I am going to sue the big filmmakers of Hollywood. As good looking as I am and as eloquent a speaker, an actor, as I am, they MUST be colluding to keep me from getting a job there. If Colin Kaepernick can sue the NFL then I can sue Hollywood!
— Most of Larned’s injured should be back on the field so look for a dandy game at Hoisington on Friday. The Cardinals should be favored, home field and all, but this could be one of the better games of the week!
— The Cincinnati Bearcats are picked, just barely, as the favorite for the men’s title in basketball in the American Athletic Conference over the Wichita Wheatshockers. Should be some really fun games in the AAC this winter!
— The grandest things are, in many ways, the easiest to do because there is so little competition!
— Big game in Buffalo land. Great Bend needs a win, a momentum maker. Buffs tough at home. On paper you’ve got to favor GC but Panthers should rebound from Liberal disappointment.
— Am I surprised that the NCAA didn’t drop the hammer on North Carolina? No. Disappointed? Yes.
— K-State’s offense will be better this week but it won’t be enough. Sooners 35-21.
— Last week I said it was time for KU to put forth a complete game. They did at Iowa State. COMPLETELY BAD! Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs won’t be any more likely to feel sorry for the Jayhawks. TCU 44-15.
— If you’re not sure where you are going, you’ll probably end up someplace else.
Buddy Tabler 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 email@example.com.