Archive for Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fall sports make early autumn ‘perfect time of year’

September 8, 2015

This is the perfect time of year for me for many reasons, but the number one reason is I’m a sports fan, and we have both baseball and football to enjoy.

The Kansas City Royals are tearing up the American League Central and visions of a World Series championship are dancing in my head.

I don’t see how you can’t be a baseball fan. The Royals play an extremely exciting brand of baseball. I have learned never to give up on them; no matter how far behind they fall in the early innings, they usually seem to battle back. Win or lose they are always fun to watch. Thanks to television, fans are able to follow the team throughout the season, and I hope we’re playing in November.

Fans have waited a long, long time for a dominant team, and I sincerely hope we are rewarded with a World Championship.

Football season is under way with the Chiefs, Kansas University and Kansas State opening play — although my favorite fall sport is high school football.

In many ways football has always been a big part of my life. My father was the starting left guard on the only undefeated football team Garnett High School ever produced. Former Bonner Springs mayor Del Heininger was the left tackle. Apparently they were a great team, going undefeated during their junior year and winning eight games to start the following season before they lost their final game to Burlington. Now this was back in the early 1920s, so Garnett certainly wasn’t a long time power house. I grew up hearing about the great team and hoping I could play on such a squad. I had the good fortune to play football for eight years in high school and college and was on only one winning team, so that should give you an idea about my gridiron talents.

Right now I am a high school football fan with a split personality. From the early 1980s through 2009 I did the statistics for Bonner Springs High School and bled orange and black. In fact in that time period, I missed only four games; one was for the rehearsal dinner for one of our daughters, Melody. Usually I covered a couple of Basehor-Linwood games when Bonner Springs played on Thursday or Saturday, and in all I probably saw a few hundred high school games.

All that ended in 2010 when I had a stroke and I didn’t get to a varsity game that year. However that didn’t mean football was gone from my life. I watched my grandsons play recreation and freshman games. The following year I changed to bleeding the forest green and white of the Free State Firebirds, as my grandson Stan was a starter for Free State and now my middle grandson Sam is the starting tailback and linebacker. I’ll be a Free State backer for at least three more years, because my youngest grandson Shane is freshman football player.

I attended my first two games last week. It takes a hardy soul to attend freshman games, since some fields are a long way from the parking lot, as was the case at Shawnee Mission West. On Friday I was at the varsity game at Free State and was surprised to see Dick Reinwald in the stands. His grandson, Bo Miller, is a sophomore wide receiver and linebacker. I suspect I’ll see Dick at a lot of games in the future.

Yes, football is part of my life and as long as I can on Friday nights, you’ll probably find me enjoying a high school game.

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