Archive for Thursday, August 17, 2006

Column: Practices start just in time

August 17, 2006

Well, you might not know it if you saw me this week, but I am so thankful fall sports have started up again.

The past two weeks of this summer have kept me very busy, and not with sports. I am jam packed with stories to write about the school district, while spending way too much time at the Douglas County and Vinland fairs.

I was at each fair for long periods of time taking photos. During that time, I was trying to think of sports ideas to fill the pages before practices started.

I managed to find stories to fill the sports section, but I won't need to search for stories for quite a while. The fall sports season has begun and I couldn't be any happier.

I love the fall season, with the weather and colors, but more so for the wide array of sports to cover. Of course, I love football and cross country, but volleyball, tennis and soccer also have perks to covering them.

I started my Monday morning off this week by waking up early and crawling out to the Baldwin High School football practice. I got to work so early, everyone in my office was surprised.

I was so excited for practices that I got to Baldwin by 7:20 a.m.; it was a shocker to most people who know me well. Later in the day I made my rounds to the BHS girls' tennis and volleyball practices.

On Tuesday evening, I headed back to BHS to catch the cross country and soccer teams in action. I got the scoop on how the teams are looking from coaches Mike Spielman and Gus Wegner. I have to admit, this fall season should be good for BHS.

Of course the fall season also started this week at Baker University and Baldwin Junior High School. The BJHS football season began Monday night with a good number of players. I am sure the Bulldogs will enjoy playing on the new turf at Liston Stadium.

The BJHS volleyball season begins today, so I will have to make my way over there soon.

Baker University's campus and sports facilities have been busy all week. The football team has been out at Liston Stadium practicing on the turf a little bit. That whole complex looks great and will be quite the spectacle when the track is finished, completing the project.

I have also seen the Baker cross country and soccer teams practicing. I know the Wildcat volleyball team has been busy in Collins Center. They should have a good season, so you might catch a match this fall. I know I will try to make it out there to cheer on the Wildcats.

Of course, you can't talk about fall sports without mentioning the National Football League or National Collegiate Athletic Association football.

Both seasons will be starting very soon, which brings a huge smile to my face. I am a University of Kansas fan for college, but I also like to cheer for the University of Notre Dame and the University of Michigan.

I do cheer for quite a few teams in college football, because I love many fight songs and traditions about the collegiate game. However, I won't ever cheer for the University of Missouri. Sorry Tigers, it's a rivalry thing.

As many people know I am a die-hard Oakland Raiders fan in the NFL. I always receive a hard time about this, but that's all right with me. I just have to remind Kansas City Chiefs fans about which team has won more Super Bowls.

I don't know if the Raiders will be much better this year, but the way I figure it, they can't be much worse than the past three years. I have hope they will improve and bring back the winning ways to the "Black Hole."

In case you missed it, ESPN's Web site had a section about comparing NCAA and NFL football. It is rather interesting about which one is better.

I used to not watch much college football, but in the last few years I have grown more accustomed to it. The argument is up for debate, but it's hard to argue against the tradition, rivalries and fight songs of the college game. If only the NCAA could fix that postseason problem, but that's a whole other column sometime in the future.

Well, I hope you are as excited for fall sports as I am, because it's time to get out and cheer for the local teams.

Go Bulldogs and Wildcats.

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