WICHITA, Kan.—Of all the long, tired hours that are put in at the CatchItKansas headquarters, there are a few that stand out. Oddly enough, those are the hours that seem to fly by. We have the unique opportunity to witness many great moments in competition with this job, and here are my favorites from the past year.
Kapaun boys and girls finish improbable runs with 5A championships
I had the pleasure of travelling with Jenn Bates to Topeka to cover the 5A state championship, where both Kapaun Mt. Carmel boys and girls were playing. Both teams had first-year head coaches vying for a state championship, and both sides won. The celebration after the boys’ game was out of control.
The student section had to feel more like a rock concert than a celebration. Kids were getting pushed up against the rails that contained the mass as others tried to celebrate with their classmates and friends that had just won a state championship. It was the best celebration I had ever seen. That’s what will stick out to me from this day.
Olpe takes 2A title in three sets
The essence of competition and digging deep within oneself is what happened in Emporia between Olpe and Washington County. Olpe won the first set, and Washington Co. won the second. It all came down to the third and final set. One team was going to win and the other lose. This culmination of blood, sweat and tears inspired this blog.
Washington Co. built a 24-21 lead over Olpe and Washington’s Jordyn Alexander turned around to her teammates and shouted “One more! One more!” Her team was one point from a championship, one point from the pinnacle.
The Lady Eagles of Olpe were done. There was no way they were going to go on a three-point run to tie. It’s exactly what they had to do. They had to win these three points. Olpe saw that challenge, and walked right by. It won the next FIVE to take home the championship. It was unbelievable. That was such a cool experience.
Hutchinson seals yet another trip to state title game
This game featured two of Kansas’ greatest coaches in Carroll’s Alan Shuckman and Hutchinson’s Randy Dreiling. Both are tough coaches that have teams that will come out and hit hard. Both coaches know what it takes to win and to see the two work against each other was absolutely fantastic.
I saw something in this game I had never seen before and may never see again. Hutch took over at Carroll’s 35-yard line and capped it off with a three-yard touchdown run by Lucas Munds. It doesn’t sound that spectacular, except it was a six-minute drive. Yes, six minutes, 35 yards. It took SIX MINUTES to go 35 YARDS! Think about that.
I saw two great football teams play for the opportunity to play for a state championship, and in turn it was a great game.