But those mornings spent playing pool aren’t just for fun. The group of six to eight seniors get in daily practice to stay competitive against a league of seven to eight other teams from area senior centers.
“It occupies the men’s time,” said Lois Janzen, senior center director. “They seemingly need to do something and they practice here every morning. They come here for coffee, so it’s a way of using their time together and sharing with one another. I think it just fills a need.”
Every other Thursday during a season that runs from September through April, the Goessel pool team plays a team from McPherson, Moundridge, Lindsborg, Hesston, Newton, Inman, Buhler and, until recently, Marquette.
“We play each team twice during the year,” said Henry Wedel, a member of the Goessel team. “We play one at home and one at their place.”
While the Goessel team currently occupies the bottom of the league, the men, ranging in age from the upper 60s to lower 90s, remain competitive.
“Most of the guys are retired and just need to have something to do,” Wedel said. “It’s fun playing.”
A traveling trophy was added to the mix last year for the most enjoyable senior center.
The Goessel Senior Center was awarded the trophy last April, and it sits in the center’s pool room.
“The (pool) chair persons got together and said, ‘Well, let’s have a traveling trophy,’ and just those chair persons voted for which senior center had been most congenial, a very good place to be—and we got that traveling trophy last year,” Janzen said.
“At the end of April, these guys will vote again. So if they vote for another one, then we have to give that trophy up,” she said.