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Local Sports

Rhythm, tempo and pace are vital

Watching all the college football over last weekend, I harkened back to my college days at Kansas State University. The nervousness and butterflies in my stomach as I stood in line on the sidelines.

No, I didn’t play football. I was a member of The Pride of Wildcat Land, the K-State Marching Band. For four years I was part of something bigger and better than myself. I never enjoyed marching band in my small high school, because we were so small!

I really didn’t go to K-State planning to be in the marching band — concert band was always more my strong suit. Concert band — in 1975-1979 — was only during the spring semester at KSU so I joined the marching band.

There’s nothing like the atmosphere at a college football game, especially on a great fall day with the sun shining. When I was at K-State, most of the college football games were played in the afternoon starting at noon or 1 p.m. 

The mornings could be a bit nippy but games in September and October were usually played under nice weather conditions for the fall. Oh, there were those cold days and rainy days, cold, rainy days but still being at a college football game is one of my favorite places to be.

Being in the band, I loved being a part of giving the beat to the day whether the Wildcats were winning or losing — and in my days, the Cats didn’t win many football games. There’s a rhythm, tempo and pace to a college football game.

Each one of us is born with our individual rhythm — our heart beat — which leads us to our own unique tempo for life. We combine our tempo with those around us. It makes life move forward on a tremendous pace.

Playing sports is about rhythm, tempo and pace, whether it is an individual sport or a team sport. Coaches always speak of ‘finding a rhythm on offense,’ ‘dictating the pace of the game with offense and defense,’ and ‘establishing a tempo.’

Individual athletes come together to discover the rhythm, tempo and pace for success as a team. Success on the athletic field of competition cannot be measured by wins and losses alone. I’ve said it many times, and I believe it. There is no doubt winning is what we strive for in athletics, but there are many other attributes to consider.

I’m working on a feature story on Newton High School’s first sanctioned volleyball season — 1987. Visiting with one of the coaches and several players from that first team, there was success even though the team did not win a match.

To find out what those success were and how the 1987 season built a foundation for Cardinal volleyball check out my story in Monday’s Newton Daily News. Newton will recognize the Cardinal volleyball pioneers on Tuesday.

There’s a pre-match reception at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the NHS multi-purpose room near the upper gymnasium. The freshman and junior varsity matches begin at 5:30 p.m. The 30th-year reunion recognition will be prior to the start of the varsity match, 7:15 p.m. between Newton and Grinnell.

Middle school sports got underway this week for Newton with cross country athletes competing at Grinnell. Football and volleyball begin Tuesday. Newton middle school home football games will be played on the field east of Newton High School. Bleachers and goal posts have been added to the field.

Contact Jocelyn Sheets


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