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Wow.

What a wild week 1 of high school sports in the Eastern Kansas Sports coverage area. My head is still spinning from some of the contests, but what a fun time! I don’t know about anyone else, but I didn’t realize how much I missed having high school sports until things started going in full swing.

Last year I started an opinion piece the morning after football results were in. Basically the concept of it is I share 3 things that stood out to me about the week prior. So with that being said…here are my three things that stood out about week 1 of the Eastern Kansas Sports coverage area:

3. Hi Pioneer, Lyon County, and South Central Border League Fans

Holy smokes. I’m blown away by the passion of these leagues fan bases. I figured it would take some time for us to spread the word about our site covering these leagues and their teams, but you all have shown up with quite a bit of passion from visits, tweets, texts, and Facebook shares. Thank you for sharing your passion with us and I hope we continue to deliver the content you’re looking for.

2. New SEK football coaches off to a thrilling start

Maybe I’m slightly biased because I played in the SEK League and graduated from LCHS (Shout out to the Class of ’04), but I was curious how Fort Scott’s Bo Graham, Chanute’s Clete Frazell and Independence’s John Black would fair in their debut. To be fair, Graham and Frazell are inheriting programs that are loaded with talent and well established while Black is rebuilding the Bulldog program. However, all 3 of their teams had some exciting, dominating, and heart-breaking aspects of their games. Independence lost a close game, but knowing coach Black he will take this loss and turn it into a learning moment for his kids. I had the privilege of covering coach Black for some of his years at Neodesha on the radio and he is the right coach to inspire, teach the young men to push through adversity, and get Independence back on track.  Graham and Frazell, who both were long-time assistants in their programs before taking over the headsets, proved that even with change things can remain the same. Fort Scott had a dominating 4th quarter performance to fend off the Golden Nado of Coffeyville. Chanute jumped out to an early lead, which included a Jacob Adams field goal, and the defense kept Circle off the scoreboard. If there was any jitters of how the assistants would do in the head coaching position, week 1 proved that both Fort Scott and Chanute are in great hands along with Independence.

1. Big Hearts

While it isn’t necessarily Kansas related it’s still tough to lose a young life. This week news came out of Joplin, MO that sophomore Kadin Roberts-Day passed away after a medical emergency during practice on Wednesday. It has been absolutely heart-warming to see SEK schools show their support to the Joplin High student-athletes, coaches, faculty, and parents.

Pittsburg is roughly a 30-40 minute drive to Joplin. The Purple Dragon student section showed their support Friday night:

This tragedy is a reminder that life is precious, we are not guaranteed any set amount of time and need to make the most out of each day, and that sports is more than just W-L’s, but also a way to bring communities together, even across state lines.

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