I went into another Howard Hughes phase since last Monday and disappeared from the face of the blogosphere. I apologize.
Part of it was because the bluetooth keyboard for my iPhone stopped functioning last Tuesday (Jan. 13), the day I went to Gypsum to cover the Russell at Southeast of Saline basketball games. It just plum stopped. Nothing. It wasn’t the batteries, because I tried new batteries in it.
I ordered a new one immediately from Best Buy that day before I went to Southeast. I was intending on going to Wichita the next day to pick it up, but after getting my work done at 2:30 that afternoon, I just went back to Buffalo Wild Wings and stayed until 8:30, when I drove back to Russell.
I could not get my butt up early enough Thursday to go down. I took a Seroquel pill the night before, and I did not fully wake up until almost 3. I went to Hays that evening with Larry Bernard and Jerry Driscoll to watch Russell’s dual wrestling meet with TMP-Marian, which lasted all of 37 minutes. Jerry took us to eat at Applebee’s afterward, which was very nice.
Friday wasn’t an option regardless of when I woke up, since I was going to Smith Center for the Redmen and Lady Red’s basketball games against TMP. The Monarchs won both, taking the girls 52-47 and the boys 75-42; the latter had a running clock in the fourth quarter.
Seroquel again took control of my day Saturday. Could not for the life of me get going, but finally, I found enough energy to drive to Plainville for the Mid-Continent League basketball tournament. I wanted to go see Norton’s girls play so I could see my dear friend Peggy Cox, whose daughter Caitlyn is a starter for the Lady Bluejays. I stayed after Norton defeated Oakley to watch Phillipsburg’s boys down Smith Center.
I went to Buffalo Wild Wings Sunday, but I did not stay for too long. I had a flood of e-mails come in from Kirby Ross, the editor of the Phillips County Review, and I got nervous about getting everything done for the week, since I knew Monday night would be shot with Russell playing two basketball games in the Hoisington tournament.
I left Salina at 3:30 and drove to Wichita. I went to Best Buy to get the keyboard resolved and then checked in at the Springhill Suites at 13th and Greenwich. I got all of Osborne’s work done in the evening, plus a few Phillipsburg stories.
The next morning, I got my column done before getting out of there at noon. Elaine Mercer wanted to see me in the office, so I did my best to haul butt north and west. I arrived at 3 and we had a very productive 25-minute chat.
Russell won both of its basketball games Monday, defeating Otis-Bison each time. The boys won for only the second time this season. The Cougars were without 6-foot-6 standout Kyle Patrick, but Russell wasn’t feeling sorry for O-B, which happens to be the alma mater of one of my good buddies, Smith Center volleyball and girls basketball coach Nick Linn.
Tuesday was the usual grind to get all of my work done. I had Phillipsburg done at 8 a.m., save for a story on Thunder Ridge’s girls game Monday night which I did as soon as the information came in at 8:40. Ellis was done before noon, Smith Center by 2, and Plainville by 3. Nobody was complaining.
The only downside was I didn’t get out of the house in time to see Victoria’s girls play Ellinwood in the Hoisington tournament. Sadly, the Knights lost 58-19, but the Eagles are 9-0 and ranked second in Class 2A by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, trailing only defending state champion Central Plains. Elllinwod and Central Plains, like Victoria, are all members of the Central Prairie League.
I stopped at the Dairy Queen in Hoisington for a mint Oreo blizzard, then got to the Activity Center at 4:15. I didn’t go in; instead, I listened to a recording while I napped in the car.
Victoria’s boys fared no better than the girls. The Knights fell behind Hoisington by 25 points and lost 61-47. I left at the end of the third quarter so I could get my steak fingers at DQ.
I went to bed at 11:20. I knew I would have to get up early because I had an important 9 a.m. appointment at Hays. I did get up early, at 5:30, to get some stories written before leaving.
I almost didn’t find my phone before going to Hays. I called my phone from the land line in the house, but stupid me had the silencer on, so I could not find it until the fourth call. But I made to Hays on time.
My appointment went exceedingly well. EXCEEDINGLY well. Got back to Russell at 10:30, and by 1:30, the pages were done.
Buffalo Wild Wings on a Wednesday night. It’s good. Promise not to go so long between posts again.
I have got to get out of Russell. Not blogging is not good.
No trips to Kansas City. I’ve been spending most of my time writing and in high school gyms.
Last Friday and Saturday were largely spent at Russell High and Middle schools, watching the Amos Morris-George Stephens Classic. Morris was the coach of the Broncos from 1949 through 1966, leading Russell to 301 victories and four state championships. The RHS gymnasium is named after hijm, but he did the majority of his coaching at what is now the middle school. The current RHS building did not open until the fall of 1961, which also happened to be a few months after my dad graduated.
The hometown teams each went 1-1 over the weekend. The Lady Broncos advanced to the tournament championship game Friday by defeating Plainville, but Russell was run over 63-39 by Central Plains of Claflin in the title tilt. Russell’s boys won a consolation game over Lincoln on a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Colten Fritschen, but
I did take some time Sunday to watch the NFL, mind you. Thankfully, the Fox affiliate in Wichita opted not to to show Johnny Manziel’s first game as an NFL starting quarterback. Many Fox stations throughout the country, including those in Lincoln and Topeka, opted to switch from showing Green Bay at Buffalo to Cincinnati at Cleveland.
At first, I feared the Wichita affiliate would do the same, but thakfully, it stuck with Packers-Bills.
Great move. The Bengals bludgeoned the Browns 30-0, holding Cleveland to a meager 107 yards. Manziel was just 10 of 18 for 88 yards.
Meanwhile, Buffalo pulled off a surprise, beating Green Bay 21-13 to knock the Packers temporarily out of first place in the NFC North. The Packers and Detroit are both 10-4, but the Lions won the earlier meeting at home. The teams meet at Lambeau Field on the final Sunday of the season.
The Cardinals clinched a playoff berth late Sunday when the Cowboys-Eagles game didn’t end in a tie. Dallas won 38-27 to take over first place in the NFC East.
Monday Night Football was beyond awful. Saints 31, Bears 15. It should not have been that close.
I wrote all day Tuesday, getting done a little before 4, which gave me enough time to get presentable and drive to Victoria for the Knights’ basketball games vs. TMP-Marian. The Monarchs won the girls varsity game 64-30. The boys game was a thriller, with Bryan Dome’s driving layup with one second left lifting the home team to a 58-56 triumph.
Had to write early Wednesday to get my stuff for the Russell paper done before noon. Missed it, but only by 10 minutes. Nobody was complaining.
Last night I rode with Russell High principal Larry Bernard to the Broncos’ wrestling double dual at Lincoln. There weren’t many contested matches for Russell grapplers vs. Stafford and Lincoln, and I was home before 8.
Getting out of here in a little bit. Going to Norton for basketball and staying the night.
Yes, Smith Center improved to 3-0 last night. No, it was not easy. Far from it.
The outcome at Hubbard Stadium was in doubt until Brody Frieling called for a fair catch on Gavin Schumacher’s kickoff with 51 seconds remaining, allowing the Redmen to run out the clock and seal a 30-22 victory against the stubborn TMP-Marian Monarchs.
Smith Center scored three unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull it out. It scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 3-yard run by L.T. Meitler with 8:11 to go, and scored again 61 seconds later on a 3-yard run by Nick Lehmkuhl which followed a snap over the head of TMP punter Cameron Fouts, which Kody Zabel recovered at the Monarch 3. Smith Center added an insurance touchdown with under three minutes left.
One week after being the beneficiary of seven turnovers in a victory over Oakley, Smith Center turned the ball over three times itself. The Redmen fumbled on their first possession, and the game would remain scoreless until Zabel hit a 35-yard field goal with 5:19 to go in the first half.
Each team would score a touchdown on its next possession. The Monarchs used two long passes to drive to the Redmen 1, and from there, Nick Schmidt punched it in to put the visitors from Hays ahead 7-3. Smith Center came right back and drove 67 yards to a 3-yard score by Nick Lehmkuhl with six seconds to go before halftime, sending the Redmen to the dressing room with a three-point edge.
The Redmen looked like they might gain a more comfortable lead on their first drive of the second half, reaching the Monarch 11, but a fumble ended the march. TMP gleefully accepted the gift, driving 87 yards to another touchdown, taking a 14-10 lead which it held when the period ended.
Smith Center now faces a much stiffer test when it plays undefeated Norton on the road this week.