MARSHALL: Winding down another year

12/20/2013

It's Dec. 20 and only five days before Christmas and 10 days before the end of 2013.

It's Dec. 20 and only five days before Christmas and 10 days before the end of 2013.

The past 12 months have zoomed by like being on the Millenium Falcon (Star Wars original spacecraft flown by Harrison Ford).

From the mid-January basketball tournaments and the Rocky Welton Invitational wrestling event to state wrestling and basketball, the winter sports came and went with a flourish. The Garden City High School wrestling team returned to prominence by winning its first Class 6A state title in 14 years, and two underclassmen were crowned champions in their weight divisions. The Buffs' boys basketball team earned a trip to the 6A state tourney for the first time in six seasons. Garden's boys bowling team garnered a third-place finish in its 6A state trip to Wichita.

Scott City's boys saw their 3-peat of the Class 3A state basketball championship fulfilled with a dominant performance over Humboldt in the title game.

And then spring arrived, and with it tennis, golf, baseball, softball, and track and field.

Ah yes, track and field.

Turns out that as much as I never liked to run myself, I do enjoy watching others compete in the sport.

And what a track season it was!

I'll forever remember Garden City's Jonathan DuVall cracking the 14.0-second barrier en route to winning the 110-meter high hurdles and then following it up with a repeat victory in the 300-meter hurdles; the Lady Buffs' 4x800-meter relay team completing its unbeaten season by blowing away the field in that event with all underclassmen runners. Dusty Tempel captured the state long jump title. And that was just Garden City.

Kelly Wycoff of Scott City, Mauri Steimel of Stanton County, Nicole Kinser of Hugoton won two golds apiece while many others won singular events. It seems plausible that track and field, much like cross country, is one of the most successful sports for southwest Kansas high school athletes. And 2013 proved it once again.

The summer brought on the annual Beef Empire Days Rodeo and for three days I try to look the part, half-heartedly by some people's standard, of a cowboy. It would help if I bought a cowboy hat and boots and the right style of shirt and jeans, too!

There were two primary golf events in the summer months, too. The annual Southwest Kansas Pro-Am in August was another success and the American Junior Golf Association brought nearly 100 young men and women to town for a major golf event in early June. It is highly probable there will be a repeat appearance in 2014.

Of course, the end of summer brings the new school year, and with it football, volleyball, girls golf, girls tennis, and cross country.

There were no state championship teams this year, but Garden City and Scott City did make it to the semifinals in Class 6A and 3A in football.

Garden City's cross country teams saw the girls capture second-place in the team and Alex Miller finish runner-up for the second straight year. The Buffs' boys earned a trip to the state meet, as well. Area schools performed well once again with Greeley County's girls' amazing run of Class 1A state titles continuing. Make that seven now over the past 10 years for coach Greg Cook on the girls side, and he's had nearly a handful on the boys side, too.

Garden City Community College had its best season in women's basketball in 2013, winning 29 games and getting within one game of qualifying for the national tournament. But the Broncbusters' programs saw massive turnovers in coaching — football, men's and women's basketball, volleyball, women's soccer. And a new athletic director and assistant assumed their duties in February. GCCC built its own multi-sports, multi-million dollar stadium with a track and football/soccer field, lights included.

Yes, there were plenty of story lines in 2013. Starting Saturday, The Telegram's sports staff will count down the Top 10 sports stories of 2013. You may agree, disagree, or have others that make your top 10. We hope you enjoy a look back at another memorable year in sports in southwest Kansas.

We certainly had a lot to write about, and we enjoyed being able to cover the memorable events.

Sports Editor Brett Marshall can be emailed at bmarshall@gctelegram.com

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