The Fly Route
To add to the whole "reload or rebuild" column from last week, I'd like to point out that Eudora volleyball coach Jill Stutler has truly built a program that reloads.
I covered the volleyball team's first competition Tuesday night and they absolutely dominated Basehor-Linwood, Baldwin and Bonner Springs.
Not a game was even close.
Stutler and a few of her players insisted they had a lot of work to do before their next competition, a Sept. 7 dual, and I'm not even naÃive enough to think the team is in late-season form. But honestly, they were pretty machine-like in the season opener.
Getting experience for the team's setters seems to be the main goal at this point, but that the Cardinals were able to replace one of the absolutely essential cogs to their 2005 team -- former setter Kelsey Epperson -- with the only hiccup thus far being allowing a team within 11 points is astounding.
Maybe they'll have to make it back to state for the third time to prove it to some and maybe they'll have to do it so seamlessly next season without the hammer that is Erin Kracl to prove it to others, but I'm sold. This program defines reloading.
I can't say the Eudora soccer team reloaded anything, but it's clear they'll have a lot more bullets for the fight in 2006.
I could fill this column and several others with the number of records the team broke in their season-opening 9-2 win over Seabury Academy. When you have individual players scoring more goals than your team used to in a month, and when your final count -- nine -- can even be compared to the number of goals the program has ever scored, that's a good day.
It would have been nice to see the Cardinals beat Gardner Edgerton. They tied Tuesday 0-0, but Eudora won its first game in nearly two years by beating Gardner 2-0 last season. Still, it's key they didn't lose. Bad teams find a way to lose that game.
I've predicted close games between Eudora and De Soto in both basketball and football, and I was incredibly wrong both times. I won't do that now.
I can say it will be better than last year's games though. Last year's games were markedly better than the games the year before, and I think this year's go around will be better again. The Cardinals have every chance in the world this season and could really pull one off if De Soto doesn't show up, as has happened in one of the two games the Cats have played this season.
It's still not time for a Eudora victory in that series, though.
It's getting closer, but not quite yet.
It's time for my final rant about the NFL's preseason.
Here we are, all ready for football and we still have 10 whole days before the NFL starts and one absolutely meaningless preseason game to go.
The league should cut out at least one preseason game, and probably two. The starters already know everything they need to know. They're in shape -- in fact, they probably never got out of shape as football, like all professional sports, has almost become a 12-month job.
No-name backups who will most likely be cut anyway will play the vast majority of the final preseason games.
Like I said a couple weeks ago -- the preseason is an instrument of pure torture.