THE DEAN’S LIST
By Dean Hockney, Publisher
For nearly two seasons, the senior football field scoreboard at the Kokomo PAL sports complex sat dark. Coaches, officials and fans would look at the board for the score or time left in the game, only to see nothing except the Coca-Cola advertisement. Senior games were moved to the junior field – leaving the younger players playing on the field that had no visible score and forcing officials to yell out how much time was left.
PAL football officials said the scoreboard had been looked at but could not be fixed and there were no funds to replace the broken piece of electrical equipment. But to steal a line from ESPN college football guru Lee Corso, city officials said, “Not so fast, my friend!” Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight and Director of Operations Randy Morris were notified of the situation and within days the scoreboard was inspected and parts were ordered. Three weeks later, city workers had the scoreboard repaired and ready for use at the PAL Fields.
So I wanted to give a big thanks to Mayor Goodnight, Mr. Morris and the city employees who wasted little time in making game management a little easier for the gridiron players in the PAL league. I can only imagine the coaches, players, officials and parents will enjoy the games just a little more knowing they can see the score and time left in the game. Job well done.
When Howard County teams play, I always root for them to win (except, of course, when they play each other). That is one of the luxuries of not being a national sports writer. And I always try and keep things positive, as most writers do. That is why I was so shocked at a recent column by Tom Davis in the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel.
In the sectional preview story, Davis wrote on the why’s and why-not’s of Homestead winning the Class 5A Sectional 3 football bracket – the sectional Kokomo is in. He wrote the Spartans could win, “Because Homestead has two bye weeks (host the Vikings and then host Kokomo) to start the playoffs. So while North Side and Snider are smashing each other into oblivion, Homestead will be cruising 43-7 by mid-third quarter on the MildKats.”
I understand that Kokomo doesn’t have the best track record in sectional play, and that Homestead is undefeated and ranked No. 4. And I get that the respect level, outside of the North Central Conference, is not high for the Kats around the state. I know Kokomo needs to prove they can battle on the field during the playoffs to gain that respect. There is nothing surprising there.
But for a sports writer to write about the “MildKats” is pretty daring and perfect for the Wildkats bulletin board. Usually, locker room fodder comes from the opposing team, not a member of the media.
So I say GO KATS! I would like nothing more than for the Red and Blue to have a competitive showing at Homestead and show the Fort Wayne area that central Indiana can play football at a high level. And wouldn’t it be great for Coach Colby and his Kats to upset the Spartans during Homestead’s “bye” week.
Until next time, remember to keep the man and ship in sports – and I’ll see you at the game.