Written by Joe Kleinsasser Monday, 24 December 2012 15:04Long-time football official Mike Wilmoth isn’t surprised by much.
He’s not surprised when coaches argue a call or fans express outrage over a perceived injustice.
But after officiating football for 36 years starting in 1976, including being named the Kansas High School football official of the year in 2010, and officiating high school, NAIA, NCAA Division II football and arena football, the Wellington High School history teacher confesses to being very much surprised earlier this year. The surprise occurred in mid-June, when the NFL asked him to be one of the replacement officials.
His reaction was what one might expect. “It was mixed,” said Wilmoth, “joy and fear of the unknown.”
The NFL gave the replacement officials a...
Written by Joe Kleinsasser Tuesday, 18 December 2012 14:34Once upon a time, coaches were simply that—coaches. They were hired and fired based on how their teams did on the football field, basketball court or wherever.
At every level, expectations of coaches have risen as much as the mercury in a Kansas thermometer in summer.
At the NCAA Division I level, the expectations for head football coaches are through the roof. Coaches need to be able to effectively recruit the best student-athletes, raise support for the football program, manage a large coaching staff, follow a set of complicated rules, spend time doing media interviews, make frequent appearances before alumni groups and fans and, of course, win a lot of games.
As long as college football has been saddled with the BCS format...
Written by Joe Kleinsasser Tuesday, 27 November 2012 14:50Thanksgiving is over, but the fall sports scene at Hillsboro High School and Tabor College was no turkey. In fact, the local sports season was a resounding success, and for that we can be thankful.
How cool is it that the Hillsboro High School volleyball team won its second consecutive state 3A volleyball championship?
It’s hard enough to win one title, and it may even be harder to repeat.
I realize that HHS has been blessed with a number of very talented student-athletes in recent years, but credit also must go to coach Sandy Arnold for her use of the talent and motivating the team to excel at the highest level.
When you’re defending a state title and have some good talent returning, you don’t sneak up on anyone. Rather, you...
Written by Joe Kleinsasser Tuesday, 13 November 2012 15:45Our state song has it all wrong. Instead of singing, “Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope play,” we should be singing “Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam and the deer crash into cars all day.”
Honestly, the number of deer/car accidents is borderline ridiculous.
Question: What is the definition of a non-typical Whitetail?
Answer: One that stays off the highway!
If you read the police or sheriff’s report each week in the Free Press, you’ll inevitably find multiple deer/vehicle accidents that occurred somewhere in the county, especially at this time of year.
For years now I’ve said that you don’t need a hunting license to kill a deer, only a driver’s license. I should know...
Written by Joe Kleinsasser Tuesday, 30 October 2012 14:59This is not another column from a cranky sportswriter complaining about the NFL’s use of replacement officials during the first three weeks of the season.
Listening to the national outcry on sports talk shows and in newspaper stories, you might have thought that replacement officials’ officiating quality had caused the world to come to an end.
The fact is the pettiness and selfishness players and coaches revealed during the lockout was the bigger story.
Coaches and players whined and pointed fingers at the officials. That’s hardly new, but the degree to which they complained was excessive. But then, it has always been easier to blame someone else for a loss than accept responsibility.
If you must know, it all started with Adam...
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