Garden City moved on at the NJCAA Tournament last night with a win over Highland (Ill.) and will face Connors State Thursday … but the word I’m getting from the coaches at the tournament is that this is Chipola’s tournament to lose. How much so? Man amongst boys, toying with people, big-time players … those are all terms getting thrown out there. Which brings me to another point — scholarships. Chipola’s got full rides and so do a lot of these teams that make it this far. But the Jayhawk doesn’t. Why don’t they start off by offering … I don’t know … at least full rides for the out of state guys? That wouldn’t even the playing field necessarily but I think you’d see a lot better showing on the national level and, hey, what’s a full scholarship anyways? A seat in a class. A plate in a cafeteria? Books? It’s education. Anything that enables that, I’m for.
Coach Steve Eck is your new Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball coach, which you could have read in the Eagle on Tuesday. I’ve written a lot about this so far, and the gist of the whole thing is this: the people at HCC and the fans that support this team want to win. Every year, the national tournament comes to town and while they don’t expect the Blue Dragons to make it every year (ok, some of them do), each year that passes that they don’t make it stings a little more. Especially when they’ve had a taste of that success in the past.
Here’s the release from HCC sports guru Steve Carpenter: