Hiking the Grand Canyon

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Years ago, when I was a young guy, a friend asked me if I wanted to go on vacation with him. I asked, “Where you thinking about going?” He said he was thinking about Los Angeles, just to put his feet in the Pacific Ocean. I told him yes, I was interested and a few days later off we went.

Now for me, the high point of the entire trip was the Grand Canyon. In person the Canyon is beyond description and is way more impressive than any picture. Before you start down into the Canyon there is a sign that says, “Hiking the Canyon is just the opposite of mountain climbing. When you hike uphill on a mountain you are fresh and excited and when you are tired you turn around and go downhill. Unfortunately, at the Canyon you go down into the Canyon while fresh and excited and when you are tired you turn around to go back, and then you must hike a mountain to get out of the Canyon.”

The sign also said to take plenty of water with you. Of course it was summer time and the temperature was forecasted to be over a hundred degrees that day. So we grabbed a couple of water bottles and down into the big Canyon we went. At first we thought we would go all the way to the bottom, to see the Colorado River, but decided after working our way downhill maybe we should not attempt a ten mile hike down with a ten mile hike back out. Instead we decided to go six miles in to Plateau Point and then six miles back out of the Canyon.

After we made it to Plateau Point, which is 1,300 feet above the river and a stunning view, we decided it was time to go back to the car and drive on further down the road. We had no idea how difficult the next several hours were going to be.

Like I said earlier, the temperature was well over hundred degrees. We were drinking water like crazy and the water was only available in certain places. We took nothing to eat with us and we were hungry. The trail slowly got steeper to where it felt like we were going straight up. The last part of the switchback trail is actually called, ‘Heartbreak Hill’ because you are so close, but yet so far from the top. It took hours to move up the trail. There were so many people coming into the Canyon and plenty of mule riders that you had to move to the side of the trail constantly.

When going through difficult times, around other people doing the same thing, you make friends easily with others experiencing the same thing. We made great friends with a couple of nineteen year old guys walking with us. One was a Frenchman and the other was an Israeli, who was reporting for his six months of required duty in the Israeli Army in ten days. We laughed, talked, sat by the side of the trail and we couldn’t believe how foolish all of us were for taking off down hill so unprepared, after they had warned us at the top of the Canyon.

Sin in our lives is just like hiking in the Grand Canyon. God warns us about sin. Our parents warn us about sin. The pastor or priest warns us about sin. But we want to do what we want to do and what others are doing and look at all these people going down the hill, into the Canyon, and into the sinful ways of man. The problem with sin is someday you may want to quit and then the devil has you in the bottom of this Canyon and you are going to have a difficult time getting out by yourself. Remember Jesus and call out to him even in your unbelief.

Romans 8:39 Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

December 2, 2014 Rankings

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As Don Meredith used to sing, on Monday night football, when the game was over and usually before the clock was out of time, “Turn out the lights the party’s over.” That is exactly how I feel about the season when it is over. The party is over!

The preparation for the party is beginning now, for next year’s party. Sure, take a couple of weeks off to renew but make no mistake about it the party is coming and is only about six or seven months away.

All the other sports we do doing the off-season such as basketball, wrestling, tennis, golf, track etc. just get us ready and keep us in some sort of shape for the real sport of football. The greatest game man ever invented.

Why is football the greatest game ever invented you ask? Because it takes all kinds of young men to play the game. Big, small, tall, short, heavy, not so heavy, fast, slow, kickers, punters, tacklers, blockers, holders, throwers, catchers, hitters and if you don’t want to actually play the game, we need trainers, managers, stat takers, kids that want to film, ticket takers, program sellers, band members, cheerleaders, drill team members, chain gang, This game can involve everyone if you can see the big picture and get involved.

Okay, I will get off the soap box. The final rankings of the year are in and posted on the website. The biggest surprise during the playoffs was Hutchinson, Ell-Saline and Halstead. These three didn’t spend much time in the rankings during the regular season, but finished well.

In the overall rankings Bishop Carroll almost overcame SM East to win the overall Super State Championship but SM East hung on to that position and is our overall State Champion. Congratulations to Coach Delaney and his Lancers!

Thank you for visiting our website. Thank you to the Kansas Media Team that sends us their rankings each week. Thank you to the refs that never get the proper thank you like they should. Thank you to the principals and athletic directors for all their hard work putting on the games. Thank you to the coaches and of course the players. And finally thank you Mom and Dad for allowing and encouraging your kids to play the game, from which they will gain much by participating.

State Championship Weekend Games

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6A Title game Shawnee Mission East vs Hutchinson. SME is coached by Dustin Delaney who used to be an assistant coach in Hutchinson just a few short years ago. Hutchinson is coached by first year head coach Ryan Cornelsen. The Kansas media ranking team picked SME as our top team in class 6A and expected SME to win it all. Hutch was not even ranked at the conclusion of the regular season. My first thought on this game, it is a close contest.

5A Title game Bishop Carroll vs St. Thomas Aquinas. Bishop Carroll is coached by long time coach Alan Schuckman. Aquinas coach is Randy Dreiling who is in his first year at Aquinas but sent many a team to the state championship game from Hutchinson. My first thought is Bishop Carroll wins big. Check out Bishop Carroll schedule here and there isn’t a close game anywhere.

4A Division I Title game Bishop Miege vs Hayden. Bishop Miege is coached by  Jon Holmes. Topeka-Hayden is coached by Bill Arnold. My first thought is both schools play in leagues with opponents that are from classes 6A and 5A. They are both used to playing schools with enrollments much larger than themselves. If anyone can give Bishop Miege a game it is Hayden. My second thought is, it is to bad we couldn’t have one more game the week after Thanksgiving week and call it the Catholic School Championship of Kansas and have the winner of 5A and 4A Division I play each other.

4A Divison II Title game Andale vs Columbus. Andale is coached by Gary O’Hair. Columbus is coached by Dan Grundy. Andale was the preseason favorite to win this classification and they have lived up to the preseason billing so far. Columbus defeated Holton in the playoffs and the Holton Wildcats were who everyone else thought would be in the finals. Columbus has been ranked all season long. This looks like a good game on paper. Guess we see how it plays out.

3A Division Title game Rossville vs Scott City. Rossville has finally won the Eastern State Championship over Silver Lake. That is quite an accomplishment for Coach Derick Hammes and the Bulldawgs. Scott City is coached by long time coach Glenn O’Neil. Both teams last weekend played really close games where either team could have won or lost. My first thought on this game is both squads will be tuned in to their coaches this week and that this game may be the most competitive of all the classifications this Saturday.

2A Title game is Ell-Saline vs Olpe. Ell-Saline is coached by long time coach Terry King. Olpe is coached by Chris Schmidt. Preseason rankings did not have Ell-Saline on the map. After the nine game regular season Ell-Saline was still not in the rankings. The Cardinals are the team that know one was thinking about on the way to the championship. Olpe has been ranked all season long. My first thought is I would have picked Ell-Saline to lose the last three games they have played, if I was a betting man. I think I will keep my money in my pocket this week and just watch to see what happens because I don’t have a clue about this one.

May all the teams play the game as violently as the rules allow and may the hitting be ferocious, and we pray that God would keep every single football player safe from serious injury. Blood and Bruises and Soreness only last a little while, but the memory of the state championship game will last a lifetime!

Scott City & Halstead have something in common

Scott City will visit Halstead Saturday game time is 2:30 p.m. The Stadium is directly behind the high school on 6th street.

Scott City and Halstead have something else in common besides a football game this Saturday. We both have Jason Evert of Chastityproject.com coming to our communities to give a talk.

Jason will be giving a talk to the parents in Scott City on December 17 in the commons area of the high school at 6:00 p.m. Also on December 17, Jason will give a talk in the auditorium at 7:30 p.m. that is open to the public. We are encouraging leaders to bring their youth groups (7th grade and older only) from around the area to this talk, but it is also open to the general public. (Call the First United Methodist Church in Scott City to tell the church how many people you will be bringing please.) The next day, December 18th, Jason will give a talk at 9:00 a.m. to the students of Scott City 7-12th grade.

After that talk a private pilot from Scott City will fly Jason to Newton where Halstead school officials will pick up Jason and take him to the Halstead schools for a talk that afternoon.

Jason is still available for more talks in the Halstead and Wichita area, Thursday night and Friday morning and afternoon. Contact chastityproject.com here and do it quick if your interested. (7th grade and older only)

Here is a sample of what Jason talks about in this video.

Here is another sample video also.

 

Children and Trust

Several years ago, my youngest daughter was watching me as I worked out. One of the exercises I was doing that day was kipping pull-ups on a bar outside. My daughter said to me, “Dad, that bar is going to break.” I told her, “It was not going to break” and continued to do my workout. After another couple of sets of pull-ups, while at the top of a pull-up the supports holding the bar broke and I landed on my back. My daughter, ever so stoically said, “I told you Dad.” I would have answered her, most likely in anger, but I couldn’t, since I had knocked the wind out of myself!

Children see the world differently than adults. As adults we need to watch and listen to our children more. Instead of automatically thinking we know everything about everything.

Matthew 18: 1-4 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Little children depend on others for everything. God wants us to depend upon him in a simple and trusting way. People of faith rely upon God instead of themselves.

Role Models

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Salina Central football player Grant England takes a knee on the field after the final game of his high school career, Wichita Heights defeated Salina Central 10-7. The youngster is Salina Central Coach Mike Hall’s son.

Young people look to their parents first as role models and then at some point they also start to look at other people and try to emulate them. The young are trying to figure out who they are and who they should be like and our local high school athletes can be great role models for the youngsters in our towns.

High school football players may not know it but they are being watched closely by other people, young and old alike, to see how they will respond not only on the field but off the field in all areas and aspects of life.

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

The Bible is filled with role models, people that we should try to follow. They were not perfect (except for Jesus) nor are we, but we could look to them for guidance.

I still like Joe Ehrmann’ talk ‘Be A Man’ it lasts fourteen minutes, you will like it. He is a great role model to follow. An NFL player that grew up to be a high school football coach and preacher.

 

 

No Bible, No Breakfast, No Bible, No Bed

Maybe you have never heard the title to this article before now but it should be a truth in all of our lives. No Bible, no breakfast, no Bible no bed.

Years ago when I still owned part of the Kansas Pregame magazine, I was in a high school weight room visiting with the football coach. We wanted his football team’s preseason information for our magazine, but we got to talking football and his philosophy of how to manage a team. Now this particular football coach took this team from a losing program each year to a multiple state championship.

Here is part of what he told me that day, “First of all, recruit the hallways of your school and encourage the kids to come join the team. We want lots of kids on the team but if you want to compete for a varsity spot on the team you must lift weights year round.” The coach says he tells the players right up front, “We want you on the team and you can play on the freshman team or the junior varsity team without lifting weights year round but to try to earn a varsity starting position you must lift weights year round.”

To be a football player we must have discipline or be disciplined. Webster’s dictionary says discipline is training intended to elicit a specified pattern of behavior or character and or train or develop by teaching and control.

Long before the football season starts you can ask high school football players what they want to accomplish during their football season and most of the time you will hear the comment, “We want to win a championship” whether it be league, district or state. Then you can ask the players, “What are you doing to become that champion?” Their answer usually sounds something like this, “We are lifting weights, running, playing 7 on 7, playing catch, practicing punting and kicking, studying film and the playbook.”

That is awesome that we have disciplined football players and coaches in our state. There is so much work that goes on before we actually get to the football season and the football games.

Let us compare your disciplined local football team that wants to win some kind of a championship to your local church and your own walk of faith.

What is the goal of the Christian religion? The goal is to go to heaven. So what are you doing to get to heaven? The football team is doing something practically everyday getting ready to compete for a championship. What are you doing everyday to get ready to combat Satan so that you can make it through the obstacle course called life and make it to your goal which is heaven?

Our job as a Christian going to heaven is to bring others with us. We are to recruit the hallways of our lives and encourage others to join God’s team. We are to be transformed and live our lives in such a fashion that others will want to join the team. Just like a football team that starts winning games the stands start to fill up and more kids want to join the team.

How do we become transformed as individuals? First of all you must ask Jesus to come into your life and you ask to join the team. Jesus is the coach of the Christian team and if you aren’t on the team you can’t hear the coach talk. After you join the team, then you can read the Bible and understand it. You can spend time in prayer, you fast, you meditate and you go to church whether you feel like it or not. If you want a starting position on the varsity team you do the heavy lifting year round!

The time to become a disciplined Christian is now! Dust off that Bible and start everyday to read one chapter a day no matter what. Let God transform you into the best Christian teammate possible through your daily workout with Him!

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

 

 

November 4, 2014 Rankings

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This is our final week of rankings. Actual on field play can now take over our duties of ranking teams. Head to head competition will now decide who should be ranked where and that is the way it should be. Back in the 1960’s and before that the state champions were decided by polls and rankings. (There was no playoff system in Kansas.) Playoffs in Kansas started in 1969 and those first ten years you made it in the playoffs due to a point system. Which really stunk, because there were plenty of teams that finished the season 8-0 or 9-0 and would not make the playoffs.

The point system was all about who you played and your win-loss record and your competitions win-loss record. If your team played teams from classifications above you, you got extra points. If you played teams in classifications below you, your team lost points.

The playoff system we have in Kansas today is so much better than when we first started. Sure we need a few tweaks to the system but at least you now have to earn your way into the playoffs.

Okay, I can hear you asking me, name one tweak to fix………… Get rid of that Tuesday night game for some classifications. Either start the season one week earlier for those classifications or get rid of one game during the regular season. I have never been a fan of the Tuesday night games in the playoffs. If that is the case why don’t we just double up on the regular season and play 18 games of varsity action in regular season every Tuesday and Friday night. Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it. So why do it once a year in the playoffs for crying out loud? Ask Conway Springs and Collegiate how their Tuesday night game this year is going to effect them, for the team that wins and has to play again on Saturday? Three games in 10 days sure sounds a little silly to me.

Okay I am off my soapbox and lets move on to the rankings this week. The Super 10 Top six have not changed this week. After that there are some changes. Topeka drops out and Free State jumps in. The Top three are really close in the voting and only separated by seven total points.

6A The only difference is Free State jumps in at number five and Topeka drops out.

5A Wichita Heights drops to number four and Salina South moves in to the number two slot. Aquinas drops from number four to number five spot.

4A D-I Bishop Miege is still rolling along as the unanimous choice. Nothing changed in this class except Hays disappeared and Fort Scott has appeared in the others column. The Fort has received no love this year from the ranking team at all and they are at 8-1 on the season.

4A D-II Nothing has changed. Andale is the Big Chief by unanimous vote and everyone else trails behind. Although Holton only trails by twelve this week and it was at eighteen last week.

3A My oh my who was that ranker that was ranking Rossville every week since week number one in the number one spot? I will never tell you, but each week he kept ranking Rossville over everyone in class 3A. Couple of years ago the same guy kept picking Scott City over Beloit and Silver Lake to win the championship and the Beavers did do it that year. Makes me wonder if this guy has Rossville pegged perfectly this year. Big shakeup in these rankings. Conway Springs drops out and is rewarded with a trip to Collegiate first round. Somebody is going home unhappy and early in the playoffs after that game. Chaparral appears in the others column for the first time this year.

2-1A Well wouldn’t you know it, Olpe and Lacrosse start the season playing each other in the first game of the season. Lacrosse wins that game, but then later on Lacrosse loses a game and Olpe later on takes over at number one. But this week the two teams are tied in the ranking points at number one. Go figure that out. Makes me wonder if they will both make it to the final game. It will be tough. There are some good teams in this classification that will not get out of the playoffs without a fight.

8-man D-I Personally, I have been picking Hanover all year long and so has most of the ranking team. Hanover still has a few doubters on the ranking team each week. Hanover is still number one. Osborne loses to Hanover and falls to the number five position. There of course is some other movement in this class.

8-man D-II Chetopa is still number one by five points over Wallace County. Stafford drops out of the rankings and Ingalls jumps in at number five. I have said all along this will be one of the closest races in all the playoffs. Look for some closely contested games. The ranking team has been all over the place with each week about five or six teams receiving number one rankings. Although this week that was cut down to only three teams.

I want to thank the ranking team members for sending in their rankings each week. We could not do what we do with out them. I think we have the best poll by far for rankings in the state of Kansas for football. We will have one more poll after the season is all over with to crown a Super 10 champ and to give teams a chance to move up in the rankings one final time. Again thank you media members for all you do for the game of high school football in our state of Kansas.

New members of the Ranking team for 2014
Brad Hallier Hutchinson News Hutchinson
Bobby Nightengale Lawrence Journal-World Lawrence
Pat Strathman WIBW Topeka

Long time Ranking team members
Joanna Chadwick Wichita Eagle Wichita
Brent Maycock Topeka Capital Journal Topeka
Eddie Lomshek KKOW Pittsburg
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
Mike Hammett KSAL Salina
Tim McGonagle KSKL Scott City/Garden City
Tim Hostetter Prep Power Index & Salina Journal
BrettMarshall Garden City Telegram Garden City
David Steinle Main Street Media Russell
Rocky Downing KFRM 550 AM
Mike Smith KMZA Seneca

 

Boredom

Do you ever get bored during football season? My guess is no, the competition is coming every Friday night during the season and there is so much to do to be prepared.

Years ago I read General Norman Schwarzkopf’s book It doesn’t take a hero. Something that really stuck with me, when he was in command of an Army unit in Germany; he wanted no boredom and drift of his soldiers. He said it was easy to motivate the troops to do the physical workout each morning. He would take his unit to the wall that separated the two Germany’s and would tell them, “Men, we are the first line of defense if the Russians decide to come across this line.” The enemy was so close you could see them.

Typically in our day-to-day lives, we can’t see the enemy. We don’t see the need to read the Bible, we don’t see the need to pray, we don’t see the need to go to church on Sundays and we can’t see the enemy, so why prepare for the battle?

Lots of church going people don’t even believe in satan anyway, so why do we need to prepare for spiritual combat?

2 Corinthians 2:11 “Lest satan should take advantage of us, for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

The football coach studies the film of his opponent and may go watch them in person if possible. The coach does this so that hopefully nothing the opponent does is a surprise to him or his team.

The opponents of our football teams are studied in great detail, but do we do that in our own lives against the greatest enemy man kind will ever know? Do not be ignorant of satan’s ways and devices.

The enemy is close at hand. We should be preparing for combat everyday, with our own workout with God each morning or evening. The workout is not easy, that is why most folks won’t do it. It takes work to read the entire Bible, it takes work to memorize scripture and it takes work to carve out fifteen minutes of quiet time to walk and talk with God the Father. It takes work to get out of bed and get those cranky kids up, dressed and fed and to church on Sunday mornings. It takes work to go to Bible studies and Sunday school.

Just like General Norman Schwarzkopf did with his Army unit, may God open your eyes to the dangerous adversary we face each and every day.

 

 

October 28, 2014 Rankings

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The Top five in the Super 10 did not change at all from last week. Olathe South was the number six team a week ago and they have dropped completely out of the rankings due to their loss to Blue Valley. O South dropping out moved everyone else below up a notch or two.

Class 6A rankings have Olathe South dropping out and Topeka reappears in the Top 5. Big game this week is Wichita Northwest at Hutchinson.

Class 5A did not change one bit since last week. Salina Central reappears in the others column. Big games this week: Pittsburg @ Aquinas and Kapaun @ Wichita Heights. Just as a side note, last week my wife and I went to Pilsen, Kansas the home of Father Kapaun and went to see his statue and home church, magnificent and worth the trip.

Class 4A D-I changed a little this week. One of the toughest districts in the state has Hays, McPherson, Buhler and Abilene. McPherson reappears in the rankings after going 2-0 in that district. Big games this week: Hays (1-1) @ McPherson (2-0) and Buhler (1-1)  @ Abilene (0-2). What will happen if Hays and Buhler win? Somebody is going home unhappy.

Class 4A D-II the only change was Frontenac defeated Columbus last Friday night and so Frontenac moves up to number three and Columbus falls to number five. You know there is another War on HWY 24 and that is Colby @ Goodland. Throw out the win-loss records you never know who will win this game. These two teams need to play like they are playing each other every week of the season against their every week opponent and then they would be even a tougher out each week.

Class 3A No change in the rankings and now we finally get that matchup we have been waiting on, it is round one of a heavy weight matchup. Silver Lake @ Rossville. Do you think anyone will show up to watch this one? Other big games are Hesston @ SE of Saline and Conway Springs @ Chaparral. Conway and Chapy two years ago had a wild game in which Conway wins 84-56. I look for another shoot out this year.

Class 2-1A saw Meade lose to Elkhart 28-27 and Meade falls to the number five spot in the rankings causing everyone else to move up. Big games this week are Smith Center @ Phillipsburg and Lacrosse @ Oakley.

Class 8-man D-I saw Spearville defeat Hodgeman County so Hodgeman drops out of the Top 5 and in comes Peabody-Burns. One of the biggest and most anticipated games by many in the state is Osborne @ Hanover. Number one vs Number two in the rankings. I personally have picked Hanover since pre-season to win it all and want to see what happens. Another game out west that will be a good one is Hodgeman County at Ness City, the old league WKEA rivals.

Class 8-man D-II had no change last week and the Big game this week is: Beloit St John/Tipton @ Northern Valley. N Valley used to be the team way back when and then they went on a yearly struggle to win games. Today they are 6-2 and it is good to see them in a Big Game again.