Doing Just Fine

Ten years ago, when we first started the Kansas Pregame magazine, my job was to contact football coaches for their team capsules and get the coaches thoughts on the upcoming season. Since I was not trained as a newspaper or magazine journalist and had never been one, my interviews were probably unorthodoxed.

Now at that point of my life, I had been on the radio as a part-time broadcaster of football and basketball games for about fifteen years. So I had interviewed coaches post game on the radio in moments of joy, sadness and anger. My thoughts on interviews were always as though I had just met someone new and wanted to make a friend. I would ask if they were married, had kids and how did they meet their wife and of course about their football teams.

What I learned about football coaches, during those years of interviews, was most football coaches don’t beat around the bush. They told me exactly what they thought about their teams, their competitors and media personnel. Lots of them would say after that, “Now you are not going to print that are you?” My response was always, “No sir that will never be in print. Nor will I tell anyone.” Direct, straight forward and telling it exactly how it was.

One day, during an interview on the phone, with a head football coach, who I had interviewed for the past couple of years, when I asked him how was the wife and kids? The coach said, “We are separated.” The coach told me it had just recently happened and he was crushed. He didn’t get to wake up in the same house as his children and he was hurting.

What do you say to someone who is hurt? Who is angry? Who doesn’t know what to do next?

In our society today many men are hurting. Someone asks us, “How are you doing?” And our answer is, “Just fine.” The reality is you are addicted to porn, drink too much, work too much and are bored at church, but you are “Just fine.” As men we hide our real feelings and thoughts just to get along and not rock the boat.

So what it is the answer for men? Lots of men see church as a place for women and children. To be honest, a lot of churches are for women and children. The programs are all geared for the women and children. After a certain age the boys look around and see that Dad is not present and so he tells Mom, “I am not going to church anymore, because Dad doesn’t go.”

Let me give you a thought. Jesus said he came to serve and not to be served. Jesus was a man. So our job as men is to serve. How can you serve the church?

Most women love to cook, they don’t like to wash dishes. Go wash dishes after church dinners. Carry the full trash receptacles after those dinners at church to the dumpster. Go mow the church lawn. When it snows, go get your shovel and move snow at your church and any other church close to you. Go pull weeds in and around your church. Go to the local thrift store and tell them if they have heavy stuff to move or want hauled to the dump or recycle, here is my phone number, call me.

Take other men and boys with you when you are serving the church in physical ways. Once you start to do this work together you will have something in common and then you might be able to start sharing thoughts with one another. Just being able to talk about things with other men and the women not being present will do you all good.

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

Ron the Teddy Bear

The rumors started the minute Ron moved to town from North Dakota. He was a big kid, 6’3” and 275 pounds and would be a junior in high school. Someone had seen him and said he was going to make a great addition to our football team. All of us on the football team knew we were going to have a great football team that fall and this big new kid was just going to make us a little better.

That August, when football actually started, there was no big new kid on the team. Everyone was asking, “Where is the new kid or was that just some rumor someone started?” Well football two-a-days started before school did, so when school began, there was this new guy named Ron from North Dakota and he was every bit of 6’3” and 275. The only problem was, he didn’t go out for football that year.

We razed Ron all that school year and the next summer about coming out for football. First day of practice in 1972, Ron was out for football with us. We were excited to have him and told him so. When we finally put on the pads and started hitting each other in drills, we could all tell Ron was not real aggressive. We asked him why he wasn’t hitting anybody real hard? His answer was, “I am afraid I am going to hurt one of you guys.” We told him over and over, “You can’t hurt us.”

Ron became our nose guard on defense. He owned the territory he stood on and even double teams by the other team could not move him away. But he was not aggressive and never got a push into the backfield and never could go down the line of scrimmage to make a play. He just owned the space he stood on.

So one night at practice, after the first or second game, we were doing a tackling drill where the ball carrier had to run between two dummies lying on the ground and the tackler stood on the other end of the dummies. We each had been through this drill a couple of times this day when it was Ron’s turn to be a tackler again. This time the head coach got angry and got up in Ron’s face and I guess I should say, challenged Ron’s manhood. Where I was standing, I could see Ron’s face flush red and he got angry. I could see this perfectly fine, because I was the next ball carrier.

As coach blew the whistle, I started forward with the ball and Ron and I met in the middle of those dummies. Ron hit me hard, wrapped me up and bear hugged me. He then picked me up off the ground and body slammed me into the ground landing flat on top of me. When he got off me, I just laid there a moment and did a quick body scan to see if I was injured. I was hurting, but nothing was broken. I got up and with a two handed chest pass threw the ball at the coach angrily and said, “Thanks a lot Coach.” Coach had this stunned look on his face. I don’t think it was because I threw the ball hard at him. He was stunned, that Ron the Teddy Bear, had finally hit someone.

The rest of the season Ron never hit anyone like he hit me, whether at practice or in a game. Eventually, the coaches took him out of the starting lineup and changed to a four-man front with two safeties and that was when I became a starter on defense at one of those safety positions.

Ron died of heart problems the first part of December this year. The next day another one of my high school classmates died in Texas during a car wreck. The week after that, at a basketball game, one of my other classmates and teammates came up to me and said, “Can you believe we lost two classmates in two days?” I said, “As old as we are getting, our turn could be next. So you better get it right with Jesus.” He then said, “It is funny you said that, because the local doctors want me to go to Wichita next week and see a specialist. They think I have cancer.” He then said, “Doesn’t that make about 20 of our classmates we have lost out of our 116 graduates?” I answered, “Yes.”

Final Rankings and Super Champion

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Our final rankings of the football season are below. One of the reasons we do a final ranking of the year is to crown a Super Top Ten Overall Champion for the entire state of Kansas. The Kansas Media Team, with their final vote, puts the Derby Panthers as the Super Top Ten Overall State Champion of Kansas.

In our preseason rankings, which can be looked up here on our website, had Derby, Mill Valley, Bishop Miege, Holcomb, Rossville, Smith Center, Spearville and Hanover as the number one teams to start the season. So we guessed right on 5 of 8 teams to begin the season.

All I can say is, high school football is getting too predictable on who is going to win next year. The football season would be more fun if we had more teams like Pratt, who was not ranked at all in any preseason rankings, win the championship.

Seriously now, we go from Silver Lake going to like 11 out of 12 state championship games in a row, to their neighbor, six miles away, winning three state championships in a row. For years people have said the East is weak in Class 3A and the road to the championship is tougher out West. I say the heck with that. The rest of the state needs to find out what Silver Lake and Rossville are doing and do the same!

As always, we need to thank the Kansas Media Ranking Team which is below. These are the guys and gals that are the real meat and potatoes of this ranking system and we could not do it without them. So thank you to all of our team for giving back to the greatest game man ever invented, which is football at the high school level.

Super Top 10 All-Classes
1.  Derby
2.  Blue Valley
3.  Bishop Miege
4.  Shawnee Mission East
5.  Mill Valley
6.  Goddard
7.  Free State
8.  Aquinas
9.  Hutchinson
10.Pratt
11.Rossville
12.Great Bend
13.Blue Valley North
14.Olathe South
15.Wichita Heights
16.Manhattan

6A
1. Derby
2. Blue Valley
3. Shawnee Mission East
4. Free State
5. Hutchinson
Others: Blue Valley North, Olathe South, Manhattan

5A
1. Mill Valley
2. Goddard
3. Aquinas
4. Great Bend
5. Wichita Heights
Others: Topeka Seaman, Bishop Carroll

4A D-I
1. Bishop Miege
2. Buhler
3. Basehor-Linwood
4. Maize South
5. McPherson
Others: Mulvane

4A D-II
1. Pratt
2. Holcomb
3. Hayden
4. Holton
5. Frontenac
Others: Scott City, Wichita Collegiate

3A
1. Rossville
2. Hesston
3. Nemaha Central
4. Hoisington
5. Silver Lake
Others: Phillipsburg, Sabetha

2A
1. Troy
2. Plainville
3. Smith Center
4. Colgan
5. Washington County
Others: Lyndon

8-man D-I
1. Osborne
2. St Francis
3. Spearville
4. Burlingame
5. Central Plains
Others: none

8-man D-II
1. Hanover
2. Dighton
3. Pike Valley
4. Wallace County
5. Beloit-St John
Others: South Barber

New members of the Ranking team for 2016
Taylor Eldridge Wichita Eagle Wichita
Bob Davidson Salina Journal Salina

Long time Ranking team members
Brent Maycock Topeka Capital Journal Topeka
Rich Epp OpenSpacesSports Colby
Justin Fluke KNZA Hiawatha
Kirk Seminoff Wichita Eagle Wichita
Dusty Deines KDNS Beloit
Conor Nichol Northwest Kansas Sports Hays
Jim Misunas Great Bend Tribune Great Bend
Adam Kadavy KSKL Scott City/Garden City
Brock Kappelmann KSCB Liberal
Tim McGonagle KSKL Scott City/Garden City
Tim Hostetter Prep Power Index & Salina Journal
BrettMarshall Garden City Telegram Garden City
Rocky Downing KFRM 550 AM
Mike Smith KMZA Seneca
Eddie Lomshek KKOW Pittsburg
Pat Strathman KSAL Salina
Bobby Nightengale Lawrence Journal-World Lawrence
Brad Hallier Hutchinson News Hutchinson

Football Vocabulary

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The vocabulary of a football team is very different from those who have never played the game. Years ago, I was an Emergency Medical Technician standing on the sidelines of a junior high, seventh grade, football game. During the game, the coach called a time out and the team huddled around him.

The coach started describing what he wanted the defense to do, when they went back out on the football field, after the time out. But the coach was only receiving blank looks on the faces of his players, as he talked. Finally, he said to them, “Does anybody understand what I am talking about?” Some of the kids said no, but most of them just shook their heads no.

Going to church, for a visitor or a new Christian, can be just as intimidating, as a bunch of kids that don’t know what the coach is talking about, during a time out, in a football game.

Don’t just invite new people to church, take them with you. You can also tell them you will wait for them at the front door. Then sit with them. Show them the books in the pews and what they are used for. Help them find the hymns that will be sung that day and the scripture readings.

Some people that have never been to church won’t know where to find John 3:16 or any other scripture. They also won’t know where to take their kids or where the bathrooms are. Help them.

That junior high football coach was way over his football player’s heads that day, when trying to tell them what to do. But to his credit, after the player’s said no, we don’t get it, he simplified real quick and the kids went back in the game and did what he said.

When you see that blank look, from people new to church, jump in and help them and keep it simple.

 

Danforth Chapel

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It is tough to read this sign, from my picture, inside Danforth Chapel on the Kansas State University campus but it is worth reading. Danforth Chapel was built in 1949 with funds donated by Mr. and Mrs. William Danforth. It was dedicated to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to honor K-State war casualties, and is a popular venue for weddings.

To honor Veterans Day, November 11th. Let me encourage you to go to the chapel and take a moment to honor our war casualties and honor God. The sign says:

The Danforth Chapel Dedicated to the Worship of God with the Prayer that here, in Communion with the Highest, those who enter may acquire the Spiritual Power to Aspire Nobly, Adventure Daringly, Serve Humbly.

If you click on the picture it will open a new window and is better for reading.

Final Rankings November 1, 2016

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This week, in our final rankings, I thought I would list the number of points each team received in the rankings. We had 16 of the Kansas Media Team send in their rankings this week. So the lowest possible number a team can receive is 16. The team that receives a 16 is a unanimous selection as the number one team in that classification.

Only two teams received that unanimous selection as the number one team in their classification. Troy in class 2A-1A and Hanover in 8-man D-II received that honor.

The other thing that happens with the media team, towards the end of the season, most of the guys pretty much have it figured out who are the top five teams in each classification. So that usually means there are not many ‘others’ listed after the top five teams. Remember, each team must receive at least 2 votes from two different Kansas Media Team members to get in the ‘others’ listing. So the Kansas Media team member that selects some team as an ‘out of the blue wild guess’ won’t usually make the cut.

If you know any of the guys on the Kansas Media Ranking team, thank them for their dedication to Kansas High School Football. This ranking team is just the tip of the iceberg in the amount of time they give back to the game, the kids, the coaches and their parents.

So even if you don’t like what we say on the radio, sometimes, or what we write in the newspapers, sometimes, or how we rank your team, sometimes, a pat on the back or a thank you covers up a lot of that negative thinking that comes our way, sometimes.

I am sure the coaches, the refs, the A.D.’s feel the same way, sometimes. So you should thank them also. The positives of high school football far out weigh the negatives. So let us remember that as we start the playoffs and everyone gets highly emotional in the close games that are about to happen. It is a great day for football.

Super Top 10 All-Classes
1.  Derby
2.  Blue Valley
3.  Shawnee Mission East
4.  Bishop Miege
5.  Manhattan
6.  Garden City
7.  Wichita Heights
8.  Junction City
9.  Great Bend
10.Bishop Carroll
11.Goddard

6A
1. Derby                                19 total points
2. Blue Valley                        34
3. Shawnee Mission East    52
4. Manhattan                        59
5. Garden City                       78
Others: Junction City (94)

5A
1. Wichita Heights               34
2. Great Bend                      38
3. Bishop Carroll                 46
4. Goddard                           53
5. Topeka Seaman               81
Others: Valley Center (85)

4A D-I
1. Bishop Miege                   17
2. Basehor-Linwood            40
3. Buhler                                46
4. Andale                                61
5. Maize South                      76
Others: none

4A D-II
1. Frontenac                          17
2. Pratt                                    39
3. Holcomb                            52
4. Columbus                          69
5. Scott City                            72
Others: Collegiate (94), Hayden (89)

3A
1. Silver Lake                           21
2. Hoisington                          35
3. Phillipsburg                        50
4. Rossville                              59
5. Nemaha Central                79
Others: Wellsville (94)

2A
1. Troy                                                16
2. Plainville                                        39
3. Meade                                            53
4. Smith Center                                 71
5. Washington Co. & Lyndon          84
Others: Jefferson Co. North (87)

8-man D-I
1. Spearville                             24
2. St Francis                             35
3. Burlingame                          54
4. Central Plains                      55
5. Osborne                               72
Others: none

8-man D-II
1. Hanover                               16
2. Dighton                                38
3. Pike Valley                           52
4. Hartford                               65
5. South Barber                       85
Others: Wallace County(88), Beloit-St John-Tipton (94)

New members of the Ranking team for 2016
Taylor Eldridge Wichita Eagle Wichita
Bob Davidson Salina Journal Salina

Long time Ranking team members
Brent Maycock Topeka Capital Journal Topeka
Rich Epp OpenSpacesSports Colby
Justin Fluke KNZA Hiawatha
Kirk Seminoff Wichita Eagle Wichita
Dusty Deines KDNS Beloit
Conor Nichol Northwest Kansas Sports Hays
Jim Misunas Great Bend Tribune Great Bend
Adam Kadavy KSKL Scott City/Garden City
Brock Kappelmann KSCB Liberal
Tim McGonagle KSKL Scott City/Garden City
Tim Hostetter Prep Power Index & Salina Journal
BrettMarshall Garden City Telegram Garden City
Rocky Downing KFRM 550 AM
Mike Smith KMZA Seneca
Eddie Lomshek KKOW Pittsburg
Pat Strathman KSAL Salina
Bobby Nightengale Lawrence Journal-World Lawrence
Brad Hallier Hutchinson News Hutchinson

New Coach for 2017

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Now that we have played the final game of the regular season or the first game of the playoffs the coaching carousal has begun. Salina-Sacred Heart’s Bruce Graber resigned Friday night after a long career of coaching high school football.

We knew that Andale’s Gary O’Hair had turned in his papers and said this was the end of his coaching career in Kansas and he is moving to New Mexico. Rural Vista’s coach Jeff Hostetter has also turned in his last coaching job. (Prep Power Index Tim Hostetter is a brother. Hope he doesn’t quit anytime soon.)

So if you have positive acknowledgements of head football coach resignations and new head football coach’s please let me hear from you. I don’t like rumors and one Principal and A.D. in the state is already mad at me for listing his head coaching job as open last year. I got them confused with another school and just stunk it up.

Contact us through our contact page and following coach openings on our New Coach page.

Rankings October 25, 2016

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We had a change in the top spot in Class 4A Division II after Pratt defeated Holcomb last Friday night. That is the only significant change in the rankings this week. We will rank teams one more time after this Friday nights games and then will wait until the season is all over with to do one final ranking for the entire season.

Although, in Class 5A the ranking team has all of a sudden had difficulty in deciding who should be ranked number one! I liked Pat Strathman KSAL Salina story on KSAL website where he put Class 5A teams in the hat and found his winners that way. This 5A classification is going to be very competitive and the games will be close. Sounds like special teams, field position, penalties and turnovers will decide the winner of these games.

The post season is almost here and is actually here for 6A and 5A and other classes where district games will decide those that go on and those that will stay home. Other than the beginning of football season in September, late October and playoff time is the best time of the entire season.

Get out of the house and go to a high school football game this Friday night. Go get a hamburger or popcorn and stand around and visit with your neighbors. High school football games are the best party in town, every Friday night!

Super Top 10 All-Classes
1.  Derby
2.  Blue Valley
3.  Shawnee Mission East
4.  Manhattan
5.  Bishop Miege
6.  Garden City
7.  Wichita Heights
8.  Great Bend
9.  Bishop Carroll
10.Junction City
11.Goddard
12.Topeka Seaman
13. Buhler
14.Basehor-Linwood

6A
1. Derby          (15 first place votes)
2. Blue Valley (2)
3. Shawnee Mission East
4. Manhattan
5. Garden City
Others: Junction City

5A
1. Great Bend          (6)
2. Wichita Heights   (4)
3. Bishop Carroll      (5)
4. Goddard                (2)
5. Topeka Seaman
Others: Valley Center

4A D-I
1. Bishop Miege  (16)
2. Basehor-Linwood (1)
3. Buhler
4. Andale
5. Maize South
Others: Abilene

4A D-II
1. Frontenac         (16)
2. Pratt
3. Holcomb
4. Scott City
5. Columbus
Others: Collegiate, Hayden

3A
1. Silver Lake       (11)
2. Hoisington       (6)
3. Phillipsburg
4. Rossville
5. Nemaha Central
Others: Wellsville

2A
1. Troy         (17)
2. Lyndon
3. Plainville
4. Meade
5. Smith Center
Others: Washington County, Jefferson Co. North, Valley Heights

8-man D-I
1. Spearville     (14)
2. St Francis      (3)
3. Burlingame
4. Central Plains
5. Osborne
Others:

8-man D-II
1. Hanover                 (17)
2. Dighton
3. Pike Valley
4. Hartford
5. Wallace County
Others: South Barber, Caldwell, Beloit-St John-Tipton

New members of the Ranking team for 2016
Taylor Eldridge Wichita Eagle Wichita
Bob Davidson Salina Journal Salina

Long time Ranking team members
Brent Maycock Topeka Capital Journal Topeka
Rich Epp OpenSpacesSports Colby
Justin Fluke KNZA Hiawatha
Kirk Seminoff Wichita Eagle Wichita
Dusty Deines KDNS Beloit
Conor Nichol Northwest Kansas Sports Hays
Jim Misunas Great Bend Tribune Great Bend
Adam Kadavy KSKL Scott City/Garden City
Brock Kappelmann KSCB Liberal
Tim McGonagle KSKL Scott City/Garden City
Tim Hostetter Prep Power Index & Salina Journal
BrettMarshall Garden City Telegram Garden City
Rocky Downing KFRM 550 AM
Mike Smith KMZA Seneca
Eddie Lomshek KKOW Pittsburg
Pat Strathman KSAL Salina
Bobby Nightengale Lawrence Journal-World Lawrence
Brad Hallier Hutchinson News Hutchinson

Rankings October 18, 2016

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You might wonder why each week we seem to have a different number for the first place votes in each of our classifications? It is easy to explain.

We have 20 guys listed as being part of our Kansas Media ranking team from across the state of Kansas. But each week not everyone remembers to send in their rankings to us here at www.kansasprepfootball.com and that is why some weeks you will have 16 first place votes and other weeks you will have 14 or 18, etc. Some of the guys may be out of town for the weekend and have a full schedule on a Monday and these rankings are part of the fun part of life and it just doesn’t get done that week.

We understand, but at the same time I have let some of the guys go in the past because they did not fulfill their commitment to the Kansas Media ranking team. The commitment is to send in their rankings each week for 9 weeks of the regular season. If they just want their name on the ranking team at the bottom of this page and send in their rankings once or twice during that 9 week season then I see them as not really wanting to participate and we unfortunately remove them from the team.

Another thing, I can hear someone out there saying, “How can Wichita Heights be ranked ahead of Bishop Carroll in the rankings this week after Bishop Carroll defeated Wichita Heights last Friday night 42-41?” My answer is because that is how the vote went this week. The vote was only 4 points apart between the two teams and in some ways was just like the game, close. Most guys probably think the next time these two play, Heights will win.

I have learned over the years that I only have one vote and can’t control how each of the Kansas Media Ranking Team votes.  And I never tell anyone how they should vote, nor should I.

The playoffs are coming and we will decide all of this on the field of play soon. Can’t hardly stand the wait!

Super Top 10 All-Classes
1.  Derby
2.  Blue Valley
3.  Shawnee Mission East
4.  Bishop Miege
5.  Manhattan
6.  Great Bend
7.  Garden City
8.  Junction City
9.  Wichita Heights
10.Bishop Carroll
11.Goddard
12.Holcomb
13.Hutchinson

6A
1. Derby          (14 first place votes)
2. Blue Valley (2)
3. Shawnee Mission East
4. Manhattan
5. Garden City
Others: Hutchinson, Junction City

5A
1. Great Bend          (12)
2. Wichita Heights
3. Bishop Carroll
4. Goddard
5. Topeka Seaman
Others: Valley Center, Maize, Aquinas

4A D-I
1. Bishop Miege  (16)
2. Buhler
3. Basehor-Linwood
4. Abilene
5. Andale
Others: Maize South

4A D-II
1. Holcomb         (16)
2. Frontenac
3. Columbus
4. Pratt
5. Scott City
Others: Holton, Collegiate, Hayden, Santa Fe Trail

3A
1. Silver Lake       (12)
2. Hoisington       (4)
3. Phillipsburg
4. Rossville
5. Chaparral
Others: Wellsville, Nemaha Central

2A
1. Troy         (16)
2. Lyndon
3. Plainville
4. Meade
5. Jefferson Co. North
Others: Smith Center, Washington County

8-man D-I
1. Spearville     (12)
2. St Francis      (4)
3. Central Plains
4. Burlingame
5. Osborne
Others:

8-man D-II
1. Hanover                 (16)
2. Dighton
3. Pike Valley
4. Hartford
5. Beloit-St John-Tipton
Others: Hodgeman County, Wallace County, South Barber, Caldwell

New members of the Ranking team for 2016
Taylor Eldridge Wichita Eagle Wichita
Bob Davidson Salina Journal Salina

Long time Ranking team members
Brent Maycock Topeka Capital Journal Topeka
Rich Epp OpenSpacesSports Colby
Justin Fluke KNZA Hiawatha
Kirk Seminoff Wichita Eagle Wichita
Dusty Deines KDNS Beloit
Conor Nichol Northwest Kansas Sports Hays
Jim Misunas Great Bend Tribune Great Bend
Adam Kadavy KSKL Scott City/Garden City
Brock Kappelmann KSCB Liberal
Tim McGonagle KSKL Scott City/Garden City
Tim Hostetter Prep Power Index & Salina Journal
BrettMarshall Garden City Telegram Garden City
Rocky Downing KFRM 550 AM
Mike Smith KMZA Seneca
Eddie Lomshek KKOW Pittsburg
Pat Strathman KSAL Salina
Bobby Nightengale Lawrence Journal-World Lawrence
Brad Hallier Hutchinson News Hutchinson