Free Falling

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BOB WOELK
Some random thoughts induced by a spring-fever delirium….

* * *

Besides the positive outcomes of the tournaments themselves, Hillsboro High School certainly ranks at the top of the hospitality-room competition. I am sure lots of people were involved in putting together the food and are deserving of credit, but I noticed Rita Bartel hanging around at a couple of the events.

I’m telling you, those French-dip sandwiches during the junior-varsity basketball and league-wrestling competitions Feb. 9 were unbelievable.

* * *

Our basketball fans are criticized at times for not becoming, well, fanatical. Perhaps they are just being polite. As I have traveled around the Mid-Central Activities Association, in my capacity as an assistant coach, I have learned to appreciate our home-crowd’s conservatism.

Hillsboro boosters may not appear as boisterous as the followers of some other teams, but by and large those who turn out to root on the Trojans show more appreciation and knowledge of the game. They also show more courtesy toward the officials, even when the guys in the stripes are having an off night.

Our backers mostly stay cool, unlike those from some other towns.

At a girls’ junior varsity game a few weeks ago, for example, an “athletic supporter” from another town picked a quiet moment to proclaim that the official was “the worst ref I’ve ever seen.”

My response would be that she was presenting the worst parental example possible. We want our players to work hard and show intensity on the court, but we also expect them to respect the authority of the officials working the games.

* * *

Has anyone noticed the lovely new signs around town showing the way to the various sports venues and points of interest in town? Has anyone noticed the misspelling of Reimer “Feild”? On all the signs. Has anyone ordered replacements?

* * *

On behalf of the citizens of the western half of Hillsboro, I’d like to thank the city employees who went out and braved high winds to restore power in our part of town on that frosty Saturday night a couple of weeks ago. You deserve a pat on the back. I went to sleep confident that my heat would be back on before my pipes could freeze. And, I didn’t worry about my house either.

* * *

I attended a school-related conference a while back and was interested to observe a couple of school officials taking notes using a combination of palm-sized organizer and fold-out keyboard. I find it ironic that as a society, we crave bigger and better television and computer screens, but we also have a fascination with miniaturization.

I have also noticed an increased use of these tiny computers to take statistics at basketball games. I think I could really get into programming in all my information about scheduled meetings and other important dates, but my problem is I would never look at it again.

* * *

Every time local elections come around, I get angry. Is anyone else bothered by the fact that a voter has to declare a political party before he or she gets to vote in a primary election? That just doesn’t seem right.

Yes, I know. The parties are choosing their candidates for the election, so it appears logical that only members of a particular party should be allowed to make that choice. Anyone from any party can run in the election later. But, realistically, the two factions have the only chance to be represented.

I still contend that having a system which is dominated by two parties is detrimental, especially in local elections. Apparently, I’m in the minority.

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