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  • Southwest Preps

COMMENTARY: Prepare for the madness

by Ben Catley, Southwest Preps

It's usually my favorite time of the year. At least from a sports prospective.

From one front, when you look at the national window, we go from Rivalry Week, Feast Week (with more college basketball on TV than one can watch - trust me, I've tried) and teams finding their groove in their NBA and NHL seasons, plus the homestretch of the NFL schedule, to Bowl season in College Football, and, eventually, the nation noticing the NBA more ... and the NFL playoffs.

For me, and for many fans of high school sports, it signifies the official close of one high school sports season and the beginning of another. Which will seem like it's non-stop. A constant sense of "where are we going tonight?" happening in households.

This particular winter sports season has more happening for me this time around than ever. Not only covering what's happening here in Southwestern Kansas, but occasionally jetting back to Southeast Colorado to call some games, including one special tournament.

Things have been quiet here at Southwest Preps lately, at least from a story front. There has been plenty of behind-the-scene stuff, mixed with dealing with personal issues, that has made this coming season one of craziness.

Then you throw in the other element working in my world right now - Southeast Colorado high school sports. The seasons, for the most part, start at the same time, and with the exception of the final week of play in December - which is far busier in Colorado than Kansas - will have weeks where it is extremely busy.

And I love it.

When it comes to play here in Southwestern Kansas, it's a lot like West Texas - basketball games are generally played on Tuesdays and Fridays, with a few exceptions. Wrestling happens mainly on the weekend. So, for me, it makes it a little easier.

It also opens up a new avenue for Southwest Preps coverage - play-by-play internet streaming. There will be a handful of games which either I or someone else will be doing - all of which will be on KVAY-FM 105.7 out of Lamar, CO, and available online. And, yes, they will involve Southeastern Colorado teams playing in Southwestern Kansas - including the annual Border Wars, involving Stanton County, Greeley County, Elkhart and host Syracuse.

That week alone will be what I would call insane - here's why:

- Tuesday: Border Wars

- Thursday: I head up to Kit Carson, CO, to call what could be a historic girls basketball game, as Class 2A No. 1 Limon will play Class 1A No. 1 Kit Carson, with Kit Carson's 77-game win streak on the line. If they win, they will tie the All-Class Colorado record for consecutive wins. The boys game is looking pretty good, too, with both teams being ranked in the preseason Top 10.

And of course, this is happening during one of the busier weeks of basketball in Southwestern Kansas.

- Friday: While the Border Wars are happening, it appears as if I will either be there or in Kit Carson, again, as they host Wiley in what could be a record-setting performance.

- Saturday: Border Wars

In between all of that madness, getting as many finals posted here as possible.

The following week is looking a lot more quiet, which will allow me to head back to Lamar to participate in a tradition - the Lamar Holiday Basketball Tournament. In fact, I am trying to train my body now to learn how to function on little sleep, because those 7 am wake-up calls for 9 am start times can be brutal.

That leads me to more madness - which will begin in January. Starting then, the Southwest Preps Podcast will be available as a live stream on Friday nights during basketball season. I kicked the idea around during football season, and it will be an ebb-and-flow situation, but we will be aiming to get as many finals out there as possible and, as we can brush up on the technology, add interviews. Don't worry, current subscribers will be able to access the SPP as soon as the live stream is over.

There are other things coming here, and you may notice a different look to the website as the winter goes along. We are experimenting with different options, and as we go through the next few weeks, some may slowly show up on the site. So please be patient as we go through more growing pains.

If you took the time to read this far, thank you for taking the time to visit. If you have any suggestions as to what you would want to see on the site, drop me an e-mail at, and we will see if we can make it happen.

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