Late Night with the ‘Dawgs
It wasn't Allen Fieldhouse, but antics were certainly plentiful Friday in McLouth High's Gold Gym.
Late Night with the Bulldogs, a preseason event highlighting the MHS basketball teams, kicked off at 8 p.m. with girls scrimmages.
Although Late Night with Roy Williams in Lawrence includes the Jayhawks' first basketball practice, McLouth teams already had a week of practice in before Friday's action.
The MHS boys and girls teams played 10-minute quarters with a continuous clock during the games. After each session, teams exchanged players and brought in additional faces.
But the main event came around 10 p.m. when high school players' fathers took on a team of faculty members.
The educators, though, didn't resemble their usual appearance in any way. Led by coach Bobby Knight (elementary principal Butch Batman), the all-star roster, also known as Knight's Knickerbockers, was adorned with throwback uniforms and wigs. If spectators looked closely, they might have recognized high school principal John Hammond, athletics director/assistant principal Tom Pierce and teachers George Karn, Cory Cole, Brad LeDuc, Steve Gish and Clay Mayer.
Among the more spectacular wigs were a poofy '70s hairdo and a mullet, while shorter shorts circa 1976 made their way into play for the faculty's costumes.
The shenanigans didn't seem to shake the faculty's focus. After a quick start, the team held on against the more traditionally dressed fathers.
The festivities concluded with a sock hop in the gym with tunes provided by the Bulldog jazz band.
The activities seemed to follow KU's popular preseason event, although the Dawghouse didn't get quite as loud as the Fieldhouse. Still, the school has carried on the tradition much like the Jayhawks KU has held the event for about 17 years; MHS has held their festivities for about the last 10 years.
The only things missing from McLouth's late-night lineup was skits. It's doubtful any Jayhawks are drama majors, (after seeing some performances we hope not) but players always put together some type of variety show.
A similar format could be a nice twist for McLouth. Same goes for Tonganoxie.
THS coach David Walker said he has kicked around the idea for a red/white scrimmage, but with just 13 days of practice before the first game, they have shied away from it.
For McLouth, though, the event gives everyone a chance to unwind a little before players, coaches and fans settle in for a winter of basketball.
Local high schools won't be courting Dick Vitale to attend any of their festivities, but if "Bobby Knight" can make an appearance, something can probably be worked out.