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Pitching with Pritch PDF Print E-mail

Alumni tourney rekindled

By Larry Pritchett
Past PCHS Activities Director

This past weekend due to the efforts of Jayson and Deanne Bishop, the Perkins County Alumni Basketball tournament got started again after about an 11-year void. I started the tournament a number of years ago for a couple of reasons.
First of all, it was a fund raiser for the boy’s high school basketball team, and secondly, it was a great way to get all the old and recent players together for a weekend of something that resembled basketball most of the time. But it was more a time for sitting down and having just a fun weekend. I would hope that they could be renewed now that the Bishops took the initiative and got the seeds planted for future years.
Those early years, even though it took some time and effort, the result was worth it. I had help from various players from the past like John Long, Gregg Aten, and numerous others who helped get the word out and within a couple of years we had close to a couple hundred past players involved.
We had some mishaps along the way. We had a faculty team from PCHS and on the opening tip of the first game they played, if I remember correctly, Gene Weedin snapped his Achilles tendon. We had a player have a mild heart attack and I am sure that some of the players took until the following year to get over the aches and pains of playing maybe their first basketball since graduation.
We had a wide age group. I remember that LaVern Poppe came to play and represented the late 40s Plainsmen players. Bill Jackman and the early 80s teams were well represented as well as the late 80s and early 90s teams.
There were some pretty spirited games during the two days and I think most of the players enjoyed themselves. Maybe we can get that all started next year. A good effort from Jayson to get it started could turn into a great weekend in coming years.
Ravenna Forfeits Games
Saturday night I got a call from my neighbor, the Honorable Mr. Doug Beck, and he informed me that he had seen something about Ravenna having to forfeit football and basketball games from this past season. The Bluejays had a football team that made it to the playoffs and their basketball team was undefeated State Champs.
Phone calls to Coach Cole and from him to some of his coaching friends came back with, yes, it happened. Then on the Kearney news later, the word came that because of an ineligible player, Ravenna forfeited all their wins in football (6), they had a 6-2 regular season and lost in the first round of the playoffs to Blue Hill and then their undefeated basketball record went from 25-0 to 17-8.
The player had been declared ineligible for 90 days starting at the first of school, so their basketball championship wasn’t vacated. According to the NTV news though, Ravenna administration stated that the NSAA had told both the school and the player’s parents that the boy would be eligible. I am sure that there will be more to the story this week. The NSAA had been contacted but no response had been given as of Saturday.
SPVA Track at Sutherland
Saturday was a busy day for me as I watched the alumni basketball and visited with some of the players for a while and then travelled to Sutherland and got there just in time to catch the afternoon finals on the track.
One of the first things that I noticed was that either track has lost some popularity with students or the SPVA schools are just getting smaller. I think a lot of it is track squads are smaller. There had been no prelims in either the 100 meter hurdles for girls or the 110 meter hurdles for boys. So out of a possible 24 entries in those races, only eight girls ran the hurdles and eight boys ran the hurdles.
A lack of participants didn’t keep from having competition. There were some exciting races and even if the weather was a little cool the tracksters gave it a great effort.
The PC boys won a number of events and they finished third in the meet behind champion North Platte St. Pats and runner-up Chase County.
Matthew Cullen had a very good day for the boys as he won the 100, 200, and ran on the winning 4 by 100 relay. Elliot Carlson also had a multi-win day winning the long jump, running on the winning 4 by 100 relay and the 4 by 400 relay and then also placed in the triple jump.  
The P.C. girls were fifth in their meet and only had one winning performance as Shania Metcalf won the shot put event. Shania also picked up a second play finish in the discus.
The spring events are quickly coming to an end and the summer months will be here before you know it. If you get a chance, get out and support all the activities at the school.
I know from experience as a teacher, coach, parent etc., you wonder how much time our kids have for all that they have an opportunity to do, but I always thought I would rather have them in a school activity than some of the other activities that were available.