• GOOD IDEA — These are tough economic times, no question about it.
For McPherson High sports fans, there is some respite.
Kudos to MHS Athletic Director Shane Backhus and the school for trying to alleviate the money crunch for families of student-athletes.
Backhus announced today the creation of “discount family passes,” which are available for each sport season at a 25 percent discount off of regular admission.
For years, a common lament I’ve heard for families is the price of tickets. But now with the family discount pass, there will be a savings.
Backhus gave the example of the upcoming boys soccer season. For a family of four to attend all the games, the cost would be $140. But if the family has a discount pass, the cost would be only $105. That’s a savings of $35, which certainly can come in handy.
Backhus also has announced that Aug. 11 is the parents meeting for all McPherson High and McPherson Middle School athletics, not just the fall sports but sports for the entire year. If you have a youth competing in sports, I strongly urge you to attend. Every aspect will be discussed, so parents are in the know of what to expect this season and that there will be no surprises.
I have always said that McPherson High does the best job of any school I’ve seen trying to keep its parents informed and to make the experience enjoyable for the student-athletes.
• ROYALS REVERSAL? — Granted, it’s just two wins in a row. And they’ve come against the worst team in the American League.
But you’ve got to start somewhere.
The Kansas City Royals went the entire month of July without winning back-to-back games as they limped to a 7-19 record. But they’re 2-0 in August, though the offense is still stuck in July mode.
The Royals have scored three runs in each of these two wins as Danny Duffy won the opener in dominating fashion and then Yordano Ventura labored through five innings before the bullpen bailed him out.
Until the offense starts pulling its weight, though, I can’t see the Royals reeling off a streak of, say, 7 of 8 or 9 of 10. It seems like every game it’s a huge undertaking just to get to three runs, which doesn’t win many games in this era of the home run.
The Royals didn’t make any moves at the deadline, but that shouldn’t be surprising. Bargaining chips Wade Davis and Luke Hochevar were on the disabled list, Kendrys Morales is one dimensional and Edinson Volquez has an ERA barely under 5.00. Not an attractive group to choose from.
Hopefully the Royals can win the final two games against the woebegone Rays, who could be a 100-loss team. That would salvage a 4-4 road trip after losing the first four to Texas when the offense was in total shutdown mode.
• RICH GET RICHER – We haven’t even played the 2016-17 college basketball season and already KU coach Bill Self has a huge jump for 2017-18.
Malik Newman recently transferred to KU after being a Top 10 recruit at Mississippi State. While he didn’t have a great freshman year there, sitting out this season and practicing every day against Frank Mason and DeVonte’ Graham is going to make him a force the following year. He was thought to be a one-and-done out of high school, but didn’t have much of a supporting cast at MSU.
On Monday, KU received a verbal commitment from 6-5 Dallas guard Marcus Garrett, the No. 44-ranked player in the country.
Self is losing Mason after this season and most likely one-and-done freshman Josh Jackson. Graham, with a big season, could also bypass his final year.
That would leave Garrett and Newman as backcourt mainstays. Garrett is a 6-5 point guard who averaged an amazing 10.1 assists as a junior (the stat people there must hand out assists like candy).
It seems like that most top prospects have KU somewhere on their wish list. It is definitely a bluechip program that shows no signs of ever leveling off.