ORIGINALLY WRITTEN SCOTT NUSS
Maybe it’s good that I’m writing about this, maybe it’s bad. But I couldn’t help but doing a classic compare/contrast analysis of this great city of Pratt when compared to Hillsboro.
Some things are very similar, however some things are very, very different.
First, and maybe the most obvious for me, was the difference on the sports scene. Hillsboro has Robert C. Brown Gymnasium, which plays host to Trojan volleyball and, perhaps the most important to our community, Trojan basketball.
Our gym is modern by most standards and is a place we take pride in.
Pratt, on the other hand, has the Franz Gymnasium, which plays host to Greenback volleyball and basketball.
Hillsboro takes pride in Brown Gymnasium, which is, by most standards, a modern gymnasium with a seating capacity of close to 2,000.
Pratt High’s Frog Dome, not to be confused with Pratt-Skyline High School’s Thunder Dome, is a classic example of a vintage gym.
It is similar to the old Florence Middle School gymnasium, but with seating on three sides. Where there used to be a stage, there is now a wall which encloses makeshift locker rooms. The court is enclosed by a wall, and the front row of seating is behind the wall, very similar to Nickerson High School’s old gymnasium.
I came to the conclusion that I hate the gym so much that I love it. I know it doesn’t make sense, so I will explain.
The gym is so old that it really should not be played in. It almost looked like the court was too short, but it is still used by the Greenbacks, so it must not be too bad.
I love the “Frog Dome,” which, ironically, isn’t a dome at all. Neither is the Thunder Dome. The only real dome in Pratt is the Beaver Dome.
The Frog Dome has to be a tremendous home court advantage to the Greenbacks. If the house is full, it’s got to be a horrible place for any visiting team to come play in.
I’m looking forward to checking out a few Greenback basketball games at the Frog Dome.
While I was working a volleyball game recently at the Frog Dome, I noticed a poster on the wall which read “Greenback Football: It’s Simple.”
I had a little time on my hands, so I got to thinking. The Greenbacks lost their first game of the year 55-6, then lost 42-14 to Scott City, so the poster must have some truth to it. Maybe Pratt High Greenback football really is simple.
There was a play drawn on the poster. Maybe the Greenbacks should look into a pass play or two. Then again, I’m certainly no football coach.
At Hillsboro, at least when I was still in high school, we had school spirit even when a team was struggling. Judging by the posters in the high school, that is still the case.
The last difference I will mention is the difference in service of Pratt fast-food establishments compared to that of the fast-food restaurants in Hillsboro.
Pratt has a Dairy Queen, and if anybody in Hillsboro was considering adding a Dairy Queen, don’t do it. Pratt’s Dairy Queen has ruined me for life. The service is among the worst I’ve ever experienced, and the environment is even worse.
When we pulled up, the entire staff was sitting in a booth staring at us. After we had ordered, a high school aged guy walked in. Apparently he used to work there, or maybe he still works there, but he walked straight back to the kitchen, made himself a chicken sandwich on toast and sat down to enjoy it.
I was very disappointed with my food when I finally did get it. My buffalo wings were soaked in some sauce that smelled extremely strongly of a vinegar-type sauce which soaked my french fries.
I might have complained a time or two about fast-food service in Hillsboro, but this topped the list of worst experiences ever. This made McPherson’s Braums, under its former management, look great.
I should point out though, that on the other hand, I do believe that Pratt’s Sonic had my food out to me in record time when I visited that establishment in the first couple weeks of school. Pratt, like every town, has its share of ups and downs-literally.
The biggest thing I’ve enjoyed about Pratt is its park system. Lemon Park and Sixth Street park have to be two of the biggest and best parks I’ve ever seen. Both of them are shaded-which provides ample opportunity for anybody who desires to get West Nile-and are kept very clean.
The facilities aren’t the newest in the world, but they’re kept well, which makes all the difference in the world.
I know Hillsboro is in the midst of a park-renovation project, and it would be great to see Hillsboro’s park end up like a Lemon Park in Pratt.
I may be calling Pratt home for now, but sometimes I can’t help but brag about my real hometown of Hillsboro. Hillsboro is a great place to have grown up and is a great place to call home.