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Column: Spring break, not much of a break

Published: Friday, March 17, 2017 9:46 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, March 17, 2017 10:16 a.m. CDT

Spring break. 

Back in the “old” days when I was in college, those were two words college students lived for, or at least it seemed that way. Me? I spent my spring breaks at my parents — sleeping in and not caring about homework. High schools did not have spring breaks.

In this day and age, spring break are words high school and college students live for and they are off and running. Me? I spend “spring break” week working on spring sports previews for Newton Daily News.

Three of the Newton Daily News’ area four school districts were on spring break this week and Newton began its spring break Friday. Unfortunately for students involved in spring sports, there are still practices. 

Track and field teams began practicing more than a month ago. Golf, tennis and boys’ soccer opened practices last Monday. Girls’ soccer practices begin Monday. The spring sports seasons open March 27.

Newton Daily News’ sports staff is busy making calls and visits with spring sports coaches and teams. We cover all the Jasper County teams — Newton, Lynnville-Sully, Colfax-Mingo, Prairie City-Monroe and CMB. 

Newton has the most spring sports teams with track, golf, tennis and soccer teams for both girls and boys. I spent the end of this week with photo days with the two track teams and boys’ soccer team. Coaches and I are working to put together preview stories for each team.

The Newton Daily News will begin running spring sports previews for each school and all the NHS teams, trying to get them in before the seasons begin. PCM and CMB each have golf, track and soccer for both girls and boys. Colfax-Mingo and Lynnville-Sully each have golf and track for boys and girls.

Newton’s track teams have had a couple indoor meets to get things started and have a week off from competition until the outdoor season begins. The Cardinal track coaches indicated they were liking what they were seeing from the teams early. The athletes got a feel for a few of the events before they start competing in their outdoor season.

Lynnville-Sully and Colfax-Mingo will compete in Monday’s South Iowa Cedar League conference indoor meet at Grinnell. CMB’s track teams participated in the indoor meet Thursday at Central College while PCM ended its indoor season earlier this week at Iowa State.

With a week or so to turn information gathered from coaches and last year’s accomplishments for athletes in each sport into preview stories, it gives a whole new meaning to spring break. It’s just another week or more of work for me.

Of course, most of my sports colleagues are glued to broadcasts of all the NCAA men’s tournament games. I told you last week it’s not my cup of tea, but I do have an interest in the 2017 men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments. The Kansas State men and women are in the Big Dances.

As a Kansas State alumni, I get emails from the university. On Thursday, an email letter from the KSU interim athletic director Laird Veatch came into my mailbox. It had an interesting tidbit.

With both basketball teams playing in the NCAA tournament, the KSU staff’s research revealed K-State is one of only five FBS institutions this season (joining Baylor, Wisconsin, Florida State and Kentucky) to play in a bowl game, the NCAA volleyball tournament and both the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments.

The Wildcat men had to play into the tournament with a First Four victory on Tuesday. They play Friday night against Cincinnati in the first round. K-State’s women are hosting NCAA tournament games, playing Drake on Saturday in Manhattan.

I’ll keep looking out of the corner of my eye to see how my Wildcat teams are doing while I’m working on high school spring sports previews.

Contact Jocelyn Sheets at jsheets@newtondailynews.com

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