Attend the Fall Preview on Friday

By Steve Sell
August 25, 2016

Thursday’s thoughts...

• ATTEND FALL PREVIEW — I strongly urge everyone to attend McPherson’s “Fall Sports Preview” on Friday at renovated McPherson Stadium.

With summer nearly expired, it’s time to transition to the fall. Not only will all McPherson High student-athletes be introduced, but there will be McPherson Middle School intros as well.

There will be numerous scrimmages and fun for all.

And I strongly urge McPherson fans to take part in the “Drive 4Ur School” event. Midway Motors is working in conjunction with the school to help raise funds for the athletic department. Simply test drive a car and a donation to MHS’ athletic department will be made, with the goal being id="mce_marker"0,000. Nothing could be easier than that.

Another highlight this year is a dunk tank. Soak your favorites as there will be some “celebrities” who will get wet for a good cause.

McPherson High’s tennis and volleyball teams are getting under way this week, with the others to follow next week. The tennis team, weather permitting, is at Hesston today, while the volleyball team takes part in a huge 16-team kickoff tournament Saturday at Hutchinson.

Please support our teams. Local sports are the heartbeat of any town and never more so than McPherson. We truly are a great sports town.

• WATCHING THE ‘DOGS — I’ve been out to several McPherson College football practices (and a lot of teams’ practices for that matter) and simply from first impressions the Bulldogs are going to be better. Hopefully that will translate into some wins.

Second-year coach Paul Mierkiewicz has upgraded the talent level by sprinkling in some newcomers with a group of holdovers who were thrown into the fire last year. At this point if I were to venture a guess, this is a team that is going to rely on its defense while the offense attempts to improve.

The Bulldogs are the KCAC’s version of the Kansas Jayhawks. Both schools were winless last year with painfully young teams that hope to grow. If Mac can stay healthy through its two non-conference games, I think it has a legitimate shot to get a couple of wins early in conference play as it goes up against Southwestern and Bethel the first two games, two teams picked near the bottom of the KCAC standings.

One new player I can guarantee who will help the Bulldogs is linebacker Travis Steenson. The former McPherson Bullpup is going to be a huge addition after having a nice career at Butler County where he earned All-Jayhawk honors. One only has to watch practice to see that Steenson will be a team leader. He sat out last season and it’s obvious he spent a lot of time in the weight room as he’s much stronger. He is one of two McPherson Bullpup grads on the team, the other being Jaelon Barnes, who probably will start on the offensive line.

• ROYALS’ STREAK ENDED — On paper Wednesday, Miami’s superstar pitcher Jose Fernandez against Kansas City’s No. 5 option Dillon Gee appeared to be a mismatch.

But for five innings, Gee actually had the upper hand, having allowed only one hit to Fernandez’s four. However, neither team had dented the scoreboard.

Gee finally faltered in the sixth as KC manager Ned Yost probably left him in one batter too long. The Marlins scored three runs, more than enough as the Royals’ offense came up empty, giving it just one run in two games.

Tonight’s game is huge. The Royals are heading to Boston for three games at Fenway after tonight and chances are they’ll probably win one game at the best there. Then it’s home against the Yankees and Tigers, part of a 12-game stretch that figures to define their season.