Hard preseason work should pay off for teams
Two-a-day practices are finally over and early season intra-squad scrimmages begin this week, kicking off the fall sports season. And this one should be one to remember.
Hard, grueling work during the hottest days of the year have been true tests of our athletes' dedication to Tonganoxie and to their teams.
Fighting sunstroke, dehydration and exhaustion, Chieftain athletes have been hard at work conditioning their minds and bodies for the coming season.
And it's going to be a great one.
Everyone always says that before the season starts, but I truly believe it.
The football team it practicing so much I start sweating just thinking about it. They do things in 105-degree weather that I wouldn't do in air conditioning.
The work ethic of a revamped coaching staff seems to have rubbed off on the players so much that they were running miles as a team before practices even began.
The volleyball team, with its two new coaches, youth and experience, is working hard to improve on last year's middle-of-the-road showing and get together a team in contention for a league championship and a strong post-season.
The soccer team went to work this season to improve its team philosophy in hopes of capitalizing on an abundance of individual talent.
What can I say about the cross country team? It's still awesome. The boys team wins league as often as most people go to the dentist, and coaches say that the girls squad also has a good shot at finishing in the top two in the league.
But the more I think about how exciting this season could be, the more I begin to daydream.
Sports highlights to come drift into my mind with all the clarity of memories.
I can almost feel the excitement of a last-second field goal. The snap. The catch. The hold. The kick. Up. Up. Up. It's, it's GOOOOD.
I can almost hear the resounding THUNK of a thunderous spike that sends the other team's front line reeling. Score: 15-13.
I can almost see the beads of sweat and grimace of near-agony on the face of a cross county runner as she or he strides out for the home-stretch kick, taking the tape by a hundredth of a second.
I can almost see the world in slow motion, all noise just muffled murmurs, as a Tonganoxie soccer player mesmerizes the goalie during a last-second penalty kick.
Zigging slowly left, then zagging slowly right. Over and over again until the goalie starts following the moves out habit. He or she is hypnotized. Time is dripping then BAM! The ball explodes into the net. The world explodes in a sea of Chieftain jerseys. Screaming, yelling, jumping shouting. The score: 1-0.
The Chieftains win!
I don't really expect all these things to happen, but I'd be dumb if I didn't expect at least one to.
Mark my words, this should be one of the greatest falls for Tonganoxie athletics in recent history.
To all high school, junior high school and recreational athletes good luck.