The emotion tonight should be palpable.
It’s going to be a feel-good night at the Roundhouse when McPherson High entertains Winfield in a basketball twinbill.
The games themselves will be secondary. It’s a night of celebration as 12 deserved members will be added to the MHS Wall of Fame and two championship banners will be raised — last year’s girls basketball championship and the boys state tennis championship.
The newest members are automatically going on to the Wall since they have met proper criteria and were not selected after the normal 10-year waiting period. These athletes are state champions or in some cases, at least two-time first-team All-State selections in their sports.
It’s the largest class ever to go on the Wall and displays the recent run of tremendous athletes at the school.
It’s also a special night because MHS coach Chris Strathman is scheduled to be on hand for the raising of the banner. Strathman, as has been well documented, has missed the first part of the season as he attempts to recover from recent colon cancer surgery.
Colon cancer awareness will be at the height of the evening. Bullpup fans are asked to wear blue, which is the color associated with colon cancer awareness. It will be somewhat strange to see a sea of blue, but the knowledgable MHS fans certainly will heed the instructions.
There will be a couple of fundraisers going on for colon cancer awareness and for the Strathman family as it deals with this difficult time in their lives.
Later this season, the MHS girls will have their annual “Think Pink Night,” which is another night that focuses on cancer awareness. The team annually raises approximately $3,500 and has done this for several years. It’s a night that is close to Strathman’s heart and the team wears pink uniforms, usually bringing out the best in it as the Bullpups have played some tremendous games in the pink togs.
Bullpup fans will take this opportunity to see the MHS teams at home for the last time in 2018 as the only game remaining this month is next Thursday in Dodge City.
As for the girls' game tonight, Winfield actually is 3-0 and Viking coach Jason VenJohn prepares his team as well as any for the Bullpups. But they'll have a hard time with MHS' pressure defense, which has been bothersome for most teams.
The Winfield boys are struggling and given how many close games the Bullpups have played, Friday's game comes at a good time. Hopefully the Bullpups will start to light it up offensively and have a no-stress victory.