A needed trip to Norton

I ventured to Norton tonight for the first time since late September to see the Bluejays play Stockton in basketball. The main reason I went was to see Peggy and Caitlyn, both of whom I had not seen since early November. They are two of my “irreplaceables” whom I blogged about before Christmas.

Sadly, one of my irreplaceables is leaving soon. More on that in another post.

Peggy told me Caitlyn is transferring from Johnson County Community College to Ottawa University to start the spring semester. It’s a good move for Caitlyn, since her brother, Conor, attends Ottawa, and her sister, Courtney, lives in rural Miami County with Andy and Finley. Poor Chelsea in Colby with Sam and Seth, but at least Peggy gets down there enough so she doesn’t feel left out.

Norton won both games–girls 56-48 and boys 47-41. The Bluejay boys are starting over after losing all of their key players from the last two seasons, which saw Norton reach the Class 3A state tournament. Norton’s girls are finding a rhythm even without Caitlyn and Baylee Miller, who was the starting point guard for the last two seasons.

Norton played tonight instead of Friday because it is hosting its huge wrestling tournament Saturday, and this gave the school an extra day to prepare. In fact, wrestling mats were being rolled out immediately after the boys game ended.

The big news wasn’t the games.

Rather, it was a double homicide which took place in rural Graham County northeast of Hill City. The Graham County Sheriff’s office and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation identified the suspect and told residents in northeast Graham County, southern Phillips County and northern Rooks County to lock their doors, cars and other valuables.

At first, Peggy thought I might have to take US 36 east to Phillipsburg and then US 183 to Hays before jumping on I-70 to get back to Russell. But when I saw KWCH report the suspect was moving towards Phillips County between Phillipsburg and Stockton, I figured it was best I just go back the way I came, US 283 from Norton to WaKeeney and then I-70 to Russell.

I saw FIVE deer on 283. Four were on the sides of the road just south of the Norton/Graham county line, and the fifth was a fawn crossing south of Hill City. No trouble, but deer always worry me, having creamed one on 183 north of Hays six weeks after moving to Kansas, then clipping one between Washington and Belleville on 36 in September 2012.

Going to sleep late tonight. No reason to get up early. Nowhere to go, really. Kansas City is a great place to avoid, especially Saturday when the Chiefs play the Titans at Arrowhead to open the NFL playoffs. The way I figure, every sports bar in the area will be loud and obnoxious. If the Chiefs win, then the fans will be whooping it up and hollering all night. If they lose, then the fans will be emptying their vocabularies of expletives. No thanks.

 

About David

I am a sportswriter for a group of weekly newspapers in small towns across northern Kansas. I grew up in New Orleans, went to college at LSU and wandered in the wilderness until Hurricane Katrina finally put me on the path to my current job.

Posted on January 4, 2018, in Norton HS, Personal and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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