Preseason Rankings 2016

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I don’t get too worked up about preseason rankings. My thoughts are always pretty much the same. The team that won the state championship, last year, is still the champion until proven otherwise. That makes it easy to pick the number one spot in preseason rankings.

Super Top 10 All-Class
1. Mill Valley
2. Derby is the team that most likely will contend for that top spot.

6A
1. Derby
2. Blue Valley I just like BV each and every year at the end of the season. They may struggle some during the regular season early, but watch out for these guys come playoff time.

5A
1. Mill Valley
2. Bishop Carroll always one of the contenders.

4A-II
1. Bishop Miege
2. Bishop Miege You are not reading this wrong. The only team that will beat Bishop Miege is Bishop Miege. If they have a bad game during the playoffs then they could lose the game. Remember, that the football is funny shaped and so can go the game!

4A-II
1. Holcomb
2. Hayden drops down a classification, Collegiate moves up a classification. I will go with the two of them in the final game.

3A
1. Rossville
2. Silver Lake and the winner of 3A…………will be one of these two.

2A
1. Smith Center we might as well put the target on a team that is used to it.
2. Meade another team that is used to hanging around the top 5.
(Defending champions, Phillipsburg, moves up to 3A for the next two years.)

8-man I
1. Spearville
2. St Francis Why not the Indians from way out west.

8-man-II
1. Hanover drops down a classification and that usually means good things for a football team that has consistently been pretty good.
2. Wallace County every year a contender.
(Defending champ Victoria has moved up to 8-man I.)

Learn the Skills of the Game

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A football team goes to practice to improve their skill of the game. The two most important skills of the game are blocking and tackling. There are also many other skills that are very important to football.

The center-quarterback exchange is one of the most important skills of the game, whether it is an under the center or a shotgun snap. The long snapper exchange with the holder for field goals and extra points might decide the outcome of the game. The punters and kickers must practice their skills everyday.

The quarterback and running back exchange during handoffs and pitches. The quarterback passing the ball to the receivers is a skill to learn. The receivers and the routes they run, before the pass is thrown their way is something to learn.

Football practice is a school in session. Now what happens if the football team shows up to practice and just goes through the motions, never really getting any better at the game? The team that doesn’t improve is a team that will lose the game on Friday nights.

As Christians are we going to church on Sunday and just going through the motions, but never improving our skills? Just like a football team that needs to constantly work on their skills of the game. (blocking, tackling, punting, handoffs, passing, catching, etc.) A Christian needs to be improving their skills. (praying, fasting, giving, teaching, learning, reading, etc.)

So as a Christian or a football team are you improving your skills and eating the solid food of knowledge as a warrior or are you still sucking on milk like a baby? Are you satisfied with going through the motions and never becoming the Christian or football player you were meant to be?

1 Corinthians 3:1-2 Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.

 

 

Could Football Disappear?

All the talk of concussions sometimes makes me wonder if football will slowly disappear over the next hundred years. Today, as we think about where we are with the game of football, I think there is no way the game will ever disappear from the sports scene in America. The game just seems so popular at all levels of play.

Recently, my family traveled to Scotland to visit family members living in Edinburgh. Since we had never been to Scotland, they took us to all the historical sites in the Edinburgh area. While we were at the Scotland Historical Museum one of the displays just caught me by surprise.

The display was of a baptismal font with a description of what it was and what it was used for. I turned to one of my family members, who lives in Scotland, and said, “Why would they need a baptismal font and a description of what it is and where it was used, in a museum?”

His answer shocked me! He said, “When the government last surveyed the people of Scotland, only about 50% of the people claimed to be Christians and only 8% say they go to church each week.” He also said, “When the churches of Scotland actually count heads of those in the pews, on Sundays, they find only 4% of the people really go to church each week. So that is why they need a baptismal font in a museum, because most people in Scotland are not being baptized and have no idea what baptism is and for sure what it means.” Let me put that percentage into perspective for you. A small community in Kansas, that has 5,000 people in the county, would only have 200 people at church on a Sunday morning.

The rest of our time in Edinburgh, as we walked around or rode the bus, I paid attention to the churches we saw. The city is filled with large stone structured churches with steeples as tall as or taller than the ‘Cathedral on the Plains’ in Victoria, Kansas. But many of these magnificent structures are no longer churches. The buildings are used for community centers, coffee shops and other retail stores.

As I would see these big beautiful old church buildings being used for other purposes, this question kept popping into my head………….Are the churches of Kansas going to become community centers and retail stores someday? Will we start having baptismal fonts in our museums, because no one is being baptized and nobody knows what they are?

Could the active churches and the great game of football disappear from the Kansas landscape? After seeing what is happening in Scotland, the answer is unfortunately yes, that it could happen.

Baptismal sign

  1. Scots are abandoning their religion
  2. Lack of interest is killing the church

A Fresh Approach to Education

After 12 years as principal of Clintondale High School, Greg Green had a bad feeling: He knew his school was failing its students.

Especially the at-risk ones. Only 63% of the kids at Clintondale went on to college, and 35% didn’t even make it though high school. It was rated as one of the worst schools in Michigan.

He and his staff had tried everything they could with the school’s limited resources. Nothing worked.

But he had an out-of-the-box idea.

Green is also a coach. To get the most out of the time he had with his players, he’d been making them videos to watch at home so they could see what they were doing wrong and how they could improve.

What if academic classes operated the same way, with kids prepping in advance by watching videos online at home or in the school library, and then doing their work in school, during the day, with teachers on hand to assist?

Could that actually work?

By 2011, Clintondale had flipped all of its classes, the first U.S. school to do so.

Clintondale’s failure rate dropped from 35% to 10%. College enrollment went up from 63% to 80% in two years!

Article by Scot McKnight

Learn more here

Hometown Hero’s

Has your hometown young man or woman grown up to be a star athlete in college or the professional sports or some other national exposure? Do you find yourself looking back in time, saying, “I remember him when he was a kid and never imagined this would happen?”

You are amazed at what he or she has done, because you can see them as a young person growing up with all the struggles of youth in your hometown.

The people of Nazareth overlooked Jesus also. “What do you mean the carpenter’s son is doing all these miracles?” The people of Nazareth took him for granted. They thought they knew him.

How about you? Do you take Jesus for granted also? That story about the Nazarene’s taking him for granted in the Bible was meant to be there for us to learn from. All of us, at some point of time, can’t see the greatness in the young people in our midst and can’t see the mystery and greatness in Jesus the Christ.

Mark 6:1-6 Jesus went out from there and came into His hometown; and His disciples followed Him. When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.” And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief.

Testimony at Church

Do you remember the scene, in the movie Friday Night Lights, where the camera was in a car slowly driving around the town of Odessa? The car was showing home made signs in the windows of businesses. The signs said, ‘Closed early for the football game’ or ‘Gone to the game’ or something similar to that.

Friday night high school football games are still a big thing in the cities and towns of not only Kansas, but the entire Midwest. I don’t know if that is everywhere across our nation or not, but I know it is here. It is a testament of how much we love the game and we want to support the kids of our communities.

What about Sunday mornings? Is going to church in your community still an important thing to do? What if everyone who claims to be a Christian in Kansas went to church on Sunday morning?

Now some people can’t make it Sunday mornings due to sickness of family members or necessary work, but the rest of us could go.

Most of us, as Christians, would have difficulty getting up in the pulpit on Sunday morning and giving our testimony. Most of us would also have trouble going door to door in our communities to tell people about Jesus and the Gospel. But one thing we could do, we could and should go to church on Sunday morning. What a testimony that would be, if all those who call themselves Christians, went to church?

The churches would be filled up in our communities. Actually, would there be enough room to hold all the people in the churches if everyone showed up?

Give your testimony next Sunday morning by going to a local church and worshiping God for an hour or so!

1. Pew research on religious composition of adults in Kansas (76% say they are Christians)
2. Pew research on how many Kansans go to church (37% of us)

How to Win the Culture War

From the book ‘How to Win the Culture War’ by Peter Kreeft is the following quote, “Perhaps the popular conception of saints is ‘nice,’ but real saints are not nice. They are warriors. They really bother people, so deeply that they are often martyred. If they don’t bother anybody, they are not saints. That is what Jesus said: “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you” (John 15:20). You don’t take nice people and nail them to a cross.”

Have you ever seen the movie, ‘Cool Hand Luke?’ In the movie Luke (Paul Newman) is put in a fight ring with Dragline (George Kennedy.) Luke refuses to give up. When I read the book ‘How to Win the Culture War’ by Peter Kreeft I thought of the movie ‘Cool Hand Luke?’ As Christians we should never give up the fight and tolerate sin and believe in the false peace that the world would give us.

There has been lots of speculation over the years about the movie having religious symbolism with Luke being Jesus. Let me encourage you to watch the movie and read the book from above.