• SUMMER FOOTBALL EXCITING — While looking forward to things slowing down a bit this summer so I can catch my breath, watching a couple of days of McPherson High football team camp is a signal that the 2017-18 MHS sports season really isn’t that far away.
The first football game isn’t until Sept. 1 when the Bullpups play at Buhler in what could very well be the headline game in Kansas on Opening Night. The Crusaders, some believe, could win Class 4A Division I this year as they will have an explosive offense that will burn out the scoreboard bulbs.
That Buhler offense will be tested by an MHS defense that returns most of its starters, especially at linebacker and in the secondary. The Bullpups were tough to score on last year, especially during their eight-game winning streak as they were in shutdown mode.
In last year’s game, Buhler got off to a fast start with a 20-0 lead before the Bullpups got as close as 20-13 before losing 26-13.
After watching a couple of practices, my initial observation is this is going to be an exciting MHS team that could go deep into the postseason and it’s all predicated on overall team speed. There’s incredible talent on the defensive side, while the offense has quality in the skill positions, especially running back. It’s never easy to replace an all-senior offensive line, but coach Jace Pavlovich and his staff will certainly coach up the young players who are having to step in and play immediately.
I can’t wait to see the Bullpups in action Wednesday morning as they’re going to be scrimmaging Garden City High School at McPherson Stadium approximately 9:00. Going up against a quality 6A school will certainly test the Bullpups and point out the areas they need to work on.
• WOOD BATS TONIGHT — There’s going to be a strange sound tonight at Grant Complex.
When McPherson’s Senior American Legion baseball team hosts arch-rival Salina, the games will feature the usage of wood bats.
Of course all teams other than the pros use aluminum bats because of cost concerns. Wood bats don’t have the longevity of the aluminum.
McPherson will be using wood bats in its Central Kansas League games. The league also includes Buhler, Newton, Hutchinson and Salina.
• WE WANT TO POST YOUR TEAM INFORMATION — I try to keep my ear to the ground as much as possible, but I really don’t know of every team in every sport this summer.
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• ROYALS FACING THE BEST — The Houston Astros took the first of a four-game series with the Royals Monday night 7-3 and you have to wonder if Kansas City can win any of the games.
Houston has won 11 games in a row and is now 42-16 on the year, a .724 clip. Now nobody expects the ‘Stros to play at that level the entire season, but they could very well win about 110 games.
The Royals are now 24-32, tied with Oakland for the worst record in the American League. Ian Kennedy was the losing pitcher on Monday and is now 0-6, not the kind of production the Royals expect from a pitcher earning id="mce_marker"4 million a year. Couple that with Jason Hammel with two wins and being paid $8 million and year and that’s a lot of dough for two wins.