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School is in final stretch, baseball teams headed to state and a ‘sweet’ Saturday
At The Mike
Mike - At the Mike
Mike Marzolf

The rain is making a difference. At least for the peonies around. As well as the lilies and tulips. 

May is often one of the prettiest months. With flowers and flowering trees in bloom. Mother’s Day and graduations often have fresh flowers involved in some form. I love to see the peonies in bloom. They are my Mother’s favorite flower. 

By the way, I went up to see my Mom on Mother’s Day and she was having a pretty good day. Even made a funny face when my brother Mark mentioned putting jelly on a hamburger. That actually deserves a funny face.

Mother’s Day and graduation also mark the end of school. It is either over or close to it for the schools in our area.

Both Great Bend and Larned go into next week. Hoisington’s last day was Wednesday. Ellinwood got out of school last Thursday. Central Plains’ last day is tomorrow.

St. John, Macksville, Stafford, and Chase all finished up earlier in the week or tomorrow as well.

So get ready to see the youth of the towns running the streets soon. Summertime is all but here.

Prep thoughts

Don’t look now but baseball teams all around the area are headed to state tournaments.

The Great Bend Panthers are headed to the 5A State Baseball tournament. The Panthers won regional play at Westurban in Wichita in what was a pretty fun day for GB. 

First, Great Bend knocked off rival Hays in the first round, by a 3-1 count then won in thrilling fashion in the championship game. The Panthers got the 4th seed Andover in the title game after it upset 17-3 Kapaun in the first round. 

In the championship, Great Bend scored one in the 6th to cut Andover’s lead to 3-2. One in the 7th to tie the game and send it to extra innings, then one more in the 8th to win it, 4-3. Fun stuff right there.

Hoisington will join them in a state tournament, off to Manhattan after their own 3A regional. The Cardinals came in as the No. 3 seed but knocked off 2 seed Ellinwood and top seed Hesston Wednesday to earn its trip to state. 

Hoisington was dominant Wednesday, winning both games by a combined score of 30-9. The Cardinals scored 12 times in the 5th inning of the championship game to blow open a 1-all contest on the way to a 13-5 win over Hesston.

Larned will be going to Salina and the 4A State Tournament after winning in Pratt Tuesday. Much like Great Bend, Larned had the fun of beating its rival along the way. Larned did that in the title game, defeating top-seed Pratt by a 1-0 score to earn the region title. The Indians didn’t allow a run in either game, winning 2-0 over Chapman in the first round.

On the softball side of things, Great Bend came up a game short of state, losing in the championship game to Goddard Eisenhower by a 6-2 score. The Cougars also ended rival Hays’ season in the first round, winning 10-5.

Hosington reached the title game at the Lyons 3A softball regional, losing in the championship game by a 2-0 score to Southeast of Saline.

The Teacher’s Lounge

We put the finishing touches on school Wednesday. Well, the students were done on Tuesday. We finished as a staff on Wednesday. Complete with a small social gathering afterwards.

Year two is now in the books for me. I do have some final things to complete to wrap up the Transition to Teaching program. I should have those complete by the end of the month. Maybe into June a bit if needed.

Year two was definitely different that year one. Year three will probably be as well. I have learned this in two years of educating - teaching and coaching are similar. How, you ask? Those on the sidelines that complain about both need to do them. They are thankless jobs. 

Well, mostly. Our middle school students did pick a teacher of their choosing and wrote a thank you to them. That was pretty cool. By far the best thing about teaching is the relationships you build with the students. It is what drew me to teaching and will likely always be my favorite component of education.

Although the year is officially over, it isn’t. I will teach summer school again as well as summer basketball most days during the month of June. 

And Finally

Mexican food has never tasted so good. Let me explain.

As I told you last week, Saturday was going to be a fun, busy day for me. And it was. My daughter Katelyn’s baby shower in the morning. That was followed by my other daughter Kinlsey’s high school graduation in the afternoon with her reception afterwards.

It was fun and emotional. Lots of tears. Mostly from Kinsley. I think she cried nearly the entire afternoon. 

How does this make Mexican food taste good? I’m getting there.

Katelyn’s baby shower started at 11 am. I was there for pretty much a couple of hours. A bit shy of that. I had three cupcakes. They were dad gum good.

We went straight from the baby shower to graduation. After graduation they had food to eat at the back of the gym. It was, yep, cupcakes. I had a couple more.

Then off to KInsley’s reception at the community building at Chase City Park. You know what we had to eat? No, it wasn’t cup cakes. It was just cake, sans the cup part. 

Know what? I had a couple more pieces of cake there. Might have had a candy bars as well. Oh, then another cupcake on the way out of town as we stopped at another party I was invited to.

By this time it was closing in on 7 pm - and 7 cupcakes. By the time I got back to Great Bend, it was all of 7:30. Being graduation and all, I let Kinsley pick her choice of supper. Of course, it was Mexican food.

Now, I have pretty much lived the last close to 20 years eating my share of it. My lovely wife Crystal likes it. Katelyn likes it. Kinsley likes it. Myself, well, it’s okay. Not my first choice. I am more of a meat and potato guy. I also like things fried in grease and drenched in butter. I’m a fan of Chinese food as well.

Mexican food I tolerate.

But that night, after eating something like seven cupcakes and a couple pieces of cake, the burrito I had that night never tasted so good. Actual food.  It was without a doubt the best Mexican food had ever tasted to me.

Mike Marzolf is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. His views don’t necessarily reflect those of tha paper. He can be reached at marzolf13@ yahoo. com.