The spring season and ultimately, the 2016-17 athletic calendar is winding to an end, and after a crazy day in Topeka Tuesday, I took some time to think about some of the insanity I looked upon and reflected on some items of the past few months.

Mainly? Can someone please explain to me the idiocy of scheduling all these games on the same day, when you have 10 full days before the state tournament even begins?

I mean, yes, schools, that makes sense: pack all the games of all the teams into the same day. 

Right.

Who cares if your softball, swimming and soccer teams have to split fan support? Who cares if a parent of a son and daughter now has to decide who to watch or tries to by speeding around town in a frenzy?

Oh what’s that you say? You want to make sure you get the games in in case of rain?

You mean the state that declared a state of emergency back in December and cancelled what seemed like three months-worth of events for what went from the Storm of the Century to the Spit of the Second?

Why can’t the softball tournament run on a Tuesday and the baseball the following day? You still have Thursday, Friday and Saturday to make up a rain out. Even the following Monday works since the state tournament doesn’t start until three days later.

Why can’t soccer go different days or times?

We already have a state association that decided to instill an absurd pitch count – good intentions, horrible delivery (pun intended) – but then not change the state baseball tournament format. I mean really?

Yep, win three games in two days which essentially assures that the state’s best pitchers likely won’t perform in the state title games unless the quarterfinals are blowouts – which, with this watered-down mess of classifications does happen more than not.

All I can say is I hope the state track meet in Wichita is better run next week and the state’s officials will act like leaders and not insecure Draconians like last year and hopefully my talk with administration last summer helps that.

Soccer results

I won’t lie that my heart broke for the Lansing girls’ soccer team as they seemed to never have the right dose of luck this year.

If they were getting some of the worst or most questionable officiating around – baiting players – they were even worse, struck by injury after injury after injury.

We saw players like Emma Hamilton return from a year-long fight she won against injury to be felled late in the season once again.

The human battery, Sydni Bolewski, also was shelved at the worst time – right before the postseason – as were others and it just never seemed to stop.

The kinds of injuries? Some? Really cruddy and will last a while even after the season wrapped.

My thoughts go out to all your recoveries, along with Basehor-Linwood’s scoring sensation Berkley Sharp, who also was lost for the season due to a knee injury.

A great scorer with a good attitude so I was also sorry to see her not finish on a high note.

As for the LVHS girls? They did improve in many ways and their athleticism only teases at how good they can be in the next few years.

I will still run a marathon if they can win eight games last year and if they do, it will be because they learned the art of “what’s next?” and not bask in mini accomplishments too long. 

Girls, you are actually, a potentially, really good team. Doing great things shouldn’t shock you. Expect it and do it over and over again.

Baseball

Basehor-Linwood is state-bound after a horror show of a start to the season and that is something to celebrate.

Head coach Andrew See kept his head up and the team did too. It will be fun to see how they do in Salina next week.

Oh, that Tanner Morris fella in Easton? Yeah, the Pleasant Ridge senior threw a no-hitter in the middle of a season that saw a lot of struggle for the Rams, so that highlight must be noted.

I will also missing hanging around in the Lansing dugout. All I can say is some of the side conversations and friendly salutations were memorable. Those boys were such a riot to be around and were also just really good dudes to associate with.

I don’t cheer for teams I cover, but I can’t lie and say I wasn’t a little bummed when things came to an end.

Watching Leavenworth pitchers Collin Jones and Josh Lucas continue to dominate was fun this year. I expect both to do well in college starting next year and I think both young men are pretty great guys. You only hope they rule the world some day.

I also was pleased to see Dylan McLain and Griffin Hancock do well as the other pitchers when they had a chance and they showed promise in taking over the bump in 2018.

The Pioneers were a great group of guys too. Sorry, to not be able to follow them to Wichita.

Parents, also note that these team’s coaches did a great job of reporting in and being available to get their teams and players in the paper.

Thank them, would ya?

 

Softball

LVHS didn’t wrap up well at regionals, but you have to recognize the 8-13 record and the improvement from the previous few seasons that combined didn’t even equal eight.

Sure they had some stinker performances that made you shake your head – the girls would admit as much – but as a program continues to grow those moments happen.

The fact they bounced back from a horror loss to Olathe North by winning five out of seven? That is a definite sign of growth.

Lansing and BLHS softball teams were fun to cover when I could get out to see them.

They like most of the teams were just a really classy bunch to follow and that makes the job easy.

As for Pleasant Ridge? I got out to see them twice and would have liked to do more, but all the weather interruptions really disrupted coverage and that is unfortunate.

But, you could see them do some really good things and it’s a shame regionals didn’t go the way they would have hoped.

But, still all of you provided some great highlights and should move forward with hope.

Senior Night

I am sorry, but when we were kids – and I am not that old for Pete’s sake – Senior Day? Senior Night?

Yeah, not a big deal.

But it is this generation’s constant need to gratify itself, by showing off their kids – I mean we did give birth to the helicopter parent, right?

When I played sports (heck, even coached it) it was about the banquet and moving on. You’d talk about your players, give out a few awards, cry for about an hour and do it in the company of the families and players in a cafeteria with really good food.

But now? Slow down games. Take these long breaks so that parents – and that’s who this is really for – can say “See my kid!!!! She is a varsity player!!!” – makes no sense.

None. Get the game moving. 

When you honor a senior, who decides to finally participate in a sport after skipping the first two or three years and barely plays, the same as one who has toiled for seven or eight years or more? Also, makes no sense. I have known kids in the past who told me they specifically went out their senior year only to go through multiple senior days.

Unreal.

But if you insist, let’s just get the seniors out in a group, have the coach give a 30-second speech about their contribution and game on.

I really don’t need to see them walk out on the court or field with their folks.

The kids play. They are the only one who matter at that point.