ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Excuse us for being giddy, but Friday night’s Hillsboro High School football win over Wichita Collegiate was a spirit-nurturing accomplishment for this community-at least the part of it that follows high school sports. Collegiate has long reached the position of “arch rival” in this town, the logical result of many tough football and basketball battles between two schools that have developed a tradition of success.
Some would point, too, to the sociological differences between the two school settings-urban and affluent vs. rural and middle income, private vs. public education, etc. We don’t promote class warfare around here, but it’s nice to know that upscale doesn’t always prevail over down home.
Adding to the significance of Friday’s win is the announcement in recent days that our two teams likely will not meet on the football field for at least two seasons. The Kansas State High School Activities Association announced its classifications for the next two seasons, and Collegiate, based on its enrollment, will compete as a Class 4A school in football in 2002 and 2003. That, in turn, has prompted the MCAA to reshuffle its two divisions. Collegiate will be in the “big school” Central Division and Class 3A Lyons will join Hillsboro in the “small school” Mid Division. It appears Collegiate will take its turn next season already as one of the Central Division schools we do not play.
It’s sort of a shame.
At any rate, we congratulate our young men who achieved gridiron glory last week. A football game-even an athletic career-is but a passing moment in the grand scheme of things. But the lessons learned from setting a goal, working hard to achieve it, and overcoming adversity along the way-that kind of victory can last a lifetime.