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Liberal shows pride in Topeka PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 March 2018 05:56

By EARL WATT

• Leader & Times

No one traveled even half as far as the Liberal fans had to travel to watch the Lady Redskins play in the Class 5A State Tournament in Topeka, and yet no one brought more.

Liberal was not only well represented on the court with the Lady Redskins finishing in third place, but they were well represented in the stands as well.alt

Being at courtside, I was able to see and hear a number of fans from different teams, and it is always my hope that the Redskin fans will represent with pride. If I hear anything less, I would be the first to correct it.

But there was never a need. The Liberal fans and student body held a high bar, bringing pride to our community.

At one point, the Rowdy Crowd was asked not to hit on the side of the wall during chants but only the top. They were never told to do so again, because once they knew what was expected, they followed the rule.

Later, when another fan base was pounding on the sidewall on the other side of the arena, the Rowdy Crowd didn’t follow suit. Instead, in a very polite manner, one of our students said, “Sir, I don’t think they are following your rules.”

One of the facility administrators even asked for a photo of the large Liberal contingency.

Coach Carter Kruger noted that when Liberal was announced in the first round, and the crowd made the Kansas Expocentre sound like it was full, that a chill went up his spine. He said he felt like he was playing in The Big House.

There were moments that my experience with other fans was not always pleasant. While parking, one group of young men walking out of the arena after watching an earlier game thought it was funny to use foul language at those in the parking lot that were coming to the next game.

And there were some comments made about our diversity.

I couldn’t have felt more proud.

Not only was our team a cross section of our community, but our fan base was as well.

That’s not the case around the state.

Some schools either come from communities that do not have the diversity we have here, or they have selectively chosen not to invite the diversity.

When statements were made about our students based on their ethnicity, I wanted those people to simply observe how well behaved our students were and how supportive they were of their team.

There was truly a sense of family — the Redskins family — that made the long drive to Topeka to support the Lady Redskins, and ethnicity had nothing to do with it.

The differences couldn’t be more pronounced of how our state still has some work to do in making sure the athletic experience extends for all races in every school any more than watching the all black KC Schlagle face the all white Bishop Carroll.

I am amazed this still exists in Kansas, where separate but equal was tossed out 60 years ago.

When I saw our students represent our community with dignity and class, I could care less about the color of their skin because I could see the content of their character.

 

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About The High Plains Daily Leader

The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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