By MIKE MENDEZ
10:13 PM EST, January 2, 2013
It has been quite a while since I have written a blog. I have missed you all, greatly. Come to think about it, it was about a year ago exactly since we have had one of these chats.
The entire year of 2012 ago.
I mean, that was all the way back when the Scott City boys were winning basketball games. Long, long time ago.
What a crazy year for CatchItKansas.com. There has been a ton of shifting and moving around here. Since I last posted, Chris Parker and Eric Janzen have left us, sadly. Parker has moved to Missouri to head up a similar website OzarkSportsZone.com, which is fantastic if you are at all curious about what goes on across the border. Janzen is living the dream with his beautiful wife Jessica in the Live Music Capitol of the World. That’s Austin for y’all who ain’t quite familiar with The Republic of Texas.
We were sad to see both of them go. They were key cogs in this giant gear, and great friends. So it goes.
But as the trees in the forest burn to the ground, room is cleared for the seedlings to come up and take on a life of their own. We have lost a couple of great ones. But we have gained the next crop of storytellers.
It seems like only yesterday Jamie Hull and I were watching balls find the water in Hutchinson for state golf. Listen, I’m going to be honest here, I had my doubts about Jamie as I’m sure Parker had his doubts about me when I started here.
Those doubts lasted about as long as it takes a light to come on once you flip the switch. Jamie joined us right in the heart of the spring postseason, when everything happens at once, with no time to feel things out, and was an instantly valuable teammate. From state golf with me in Hutch, to state softball and baseball in Emporia, she made our coverage possible.
And perhaps my favorite moment from the entire year came with Jamie when Medicine Lodge baseball coach Chuck Dirks did a swan dive onto the dog pile after the final out of a state championship season. It was one of these most pure and true things I have ever been privileged enough to witness. Jamie and I fondly reminisce about it to this very day.
And with the fall, Jamie moved into stats coordinating duties, leaving us shorthanded once again. Enter Caleb Hall.
Caleb was a welcome addition, jumping right in for the whirlwind fall season. When you are sitting at this desk in the middle of it, things happen fast. On a game night, there are a seemingly endless number of tasks to do. You have to do them all at once, and they are all high priority. It can take a person to the brink. There is nothing you can really do to prepare for what is going to hit you in here. So hey Caleb, here are the train tracks. Have a seat and brace yourself.
We all got run over on our first Friday night. The question is to what extent. When the dust settled and we all looked over, Caleb was still standing, and even smiling. It takes an entirely different type of person to voluntarily give up any hope of a normal social life in order to come in here and get hammered by nearly every Friday night of the year. It takes dedication. It takes a passion for sports that goes well beyond casual observance. Some run for the hills and never look back.
This is not for everyone.
Caleb showed us on that first Friday night that he is not normal. He showed us he is crazed enough to be a valued member of this team and tackle the experiment we call CatchItKansas.com, week after week.
Here, we are all odd ducks in some form or another. Finding people to jump into this is a little like finding carnies for a traveling circus.
There are certain challenges that take guts to accept.
Can you swallow swords, or breathe fire? No? Well, can you walk barefoot through coals, charm venomous snakes, or pull huge trucks with your teeth? No? How about broken glass? Can you walk on broken glass if not the coals? I see. We’ll let you know.
Neither Jamie nor Caleb flinched. You see, all of us have loved every minute of this. We do this because of the opportunity we have been given to meet you, and for the privilege of telling your stories. We do this because we can’t imagine doing anything else. Jamie and Caleb, welcome aboard.
For you, the high school athlete, you are the ones who dictate the content on this site, not us. What will you make this site look like in 2013? What memories will you provide us all? Whatever you accomplish out there this year, be assured this crew will have a blast following it.
What do you say we kick things off with a little hoops in the CatchItKansas Classic at Koch, and Hartman Arena?
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