Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jack Remembers for 3-4-09

When I was a kid I fought in the Golden Gloves two years, never won, but did win a regional tournament in Chillicothe. I was also on Kansas City’s Boxing Team put together by well known boxing coach Bubble Klice. He paid $50.00 expense money for each fight we fought. We had fights all over the area including Des Moines, Wichita, and Oklahoma City. I had an impressive win record, which proved to be much more successful than my fight record in some of the beer joints I patronized in my drinking days.
One night I was at the Fun Haven beer joint located near Blue Springs, when a huge mean 250 pound man ran across the dance floor and hit me in the mouth. I did a double flip off my chair and almost bled to death. I’ve still got scars from that night.
Luckily, I had drinking buddies who were better fighters than me. One of them had lost his arm in a wood chipping machine and had a wooden arm with a hook. He had been in a fight in a bar one time and was told by a judge the hook was a deadly weapon and he was not to hit anyone with it. The judge didn’t say anything about the heavy wooden arm the hook was screwed in to.
One evening we were at a night club on 40 Highway when my buddy came back to the table, unscrewed the hook and put it in his pocket stating that there was going to be trouble. Apparently, a tough guy at the bar was a brother to our waitress and he didn’t like something said to her by someone at our table, and here he came. My buddy stood up and tapped the guy on the shoulder with his heavy wooden arm. You could hear that guy’s collar bone pop clear across the nightclub. Now, if there is one thing that gets a tough guy’s mind off fighting, it’s to have his collar bone broken before he can throw the first punch.

Colorectal Cancer Facts and Myths

Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon and/or rectum. It is equally common in both men and women — 148,810 cases will be diagnosed in 2008, and an estimated 49,960 people will die from the disease. It is also one of the most easily prevented cancers because it can develop from polyps that can be removed before they become cancerous.
What do the Colon and Rectum do?
The colon and rectum are part of the large bowel or large intestine, which is an organ that is part of the digestive system (also called the digestive tract). The digestive system is the group of organs that allow us to eat and to use the food we eat to fuel our bodies. The colon and rectum play a very important role in how our bodies use the food we eat.
Why are the Colon and Rectum Important?
Healthy eating is good for your overall health, but having a low-calorie, high-fiber diet that includes many fruits and vegetables is important to a healthy colon and rectum. A healthy colon and rectum will rid your body of the leftovers it no longer needs. Your stool is filled with bacteria, so it is important to pass this out of your body. If your colon or rectum aren't working the way they should, you will experience problems such as bloating, gas and pain.
What is family history and how does it affect my risk?
Relatives of people who have had colorectal cancer, and people who have a "family history" of the disease, are more likely to develop the disease themselves.
Parents can pass along to their children changes in certain genes that can lead to colorectal cancer. Scientists have identified several of these genetic mutations for colorectal cancer, but there might be others that have yet to be found.
Myths and Realities
Colorectal cancer has long been a disease cloaked in embarrassment and misunderstandings. Some people think that colorectal cancer is not preventable so they do not go to be screened. Other people avoid screening because they believe that if they do get tested and diagnosed with colorectal cancer they are going to die. Some women think that they do not have to worry about this disease because only men get it.
There is nothing I can do about getting colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer can be prevented. Screening tests can detect polyps (grape-like growths on the lining of the colon or rectum) that can turn into cancer. Removing these polyps can prevent colorectal cancer from ever occurring. Starting at age 50, men and women who are at average risk should be screened regularly for colorectal cancer. New research shows that African Americans should begin begin screening at age 45. Men and women who are at high risk of the disease because of personal or family medical history may need to be tested earlier and should talk to their health care professional about when.

Colorectal cancer is usually fatal.
Colorectal cancer is usually curable when detected early. More than 90 percent of patients with localized colorectal cancer confined to the colon or rectum are alive five years after diagnosis.

Colorectal cancer is a disease of older, white men.
An equal number of women and men get colorectal cancer. An estimated 75,810 women and 72,800 men will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2006. African Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer at later stages of the disease, and at a younger age.

Screening tests are necessary only for individuals who have symptoms.
Since symptoms of colorectal cancer are often silent, it is important to get screened regularly. Screenings test for a disease even if the patient has no symptoms. About 75 percent of all new cases of colorectal cancer occur in individuals with no known risk factors for the disease, other than being 50 or older. If you have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer, polyps or inflammatory bowel disease you may need to be screened before age 50. Talk with your health care professional.
General Health Clinic encourages you to speak with your healthcare professional with questions or concerns about colorectal cancer. The Clinic welcomes most major insurances along with Medicare and Medicaid. Payments by cash, credit cards, and debit cards are accepted. The clinic is located at the junction of highways 148 and JJ in Hopkins, Missouri. The clinic will be open Saturday, March 7 and Saturday, March 21. The clinic will be closed on Friday, March 20 and Friday, March 27. Appointments can be made by calling 660-778-3209.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Northeast Boys Show Glimmer of Hope.

Northeast Nodaway's boys showed a glimmer of hope in their last two games. After an ugly 77-46 blowout loss to Elwood in which Coach Charlie Burch kicked over a chair and drew a technical foul in frustration at one point, the Bluejays were faced with a choice -- pack it in for the year or pick it up for the closing stretch. To their credit, they used a strong fourth quarter to erase a deficit and take CFX to overtime before losing 72-68. The Bluejays then showed that they could play with the best, playing evenly with DeKalb (one of the top teams in the conference) after falling behind 22-5 after one quarter before losing 89-68. The Tigers had thrown a scare into powerhouse Jefferson, only trailing by 17-16 before the three-time defending state champs hung 31 points in the second and 26 points in the third to dispose of them 82-57.

There were two players who were the key to Northeast's suddenly improved offensive output. Bryce Farnan carried the Bluejays against CFX, scoring 26 points in that period; he followed that with a 21-point effort Monday night. The other player was freshman point guard Alec Scroggie. When Scroggie started against CFX, the Bluejays were a totally different team out there; he provided the steady hand that Coach Burch had been looking for all year. "He's a level-headed kid who does everything you ask him to and who earned his playing time," said Burch after the DeKalb game. Scroggie did not start against DeKalb; however, he played for much of the game.

The Bluejays fell back into some of the bad habits that have plagued them all year to start with in the first period; a Colby Wiederholt putback and a Tyler Davis 3-pointer were the only points that they scored in that period. In the meantime, the Tigers scored at will as Northeast kept throwing it away against the halfcourt trap and were jacking up 3-pointers, gambling and missing on passes causing easy layups, and not boxing out on the boards.

Coach Charlie Burch had wanted his team to translate stuff from the practice floor onto the court all year, and all of a sudden, they started doing so on the offensive end and made a game out of it at times. But they could not buy a stop on the defensive end. "Take away the first quarter, and we might have had a game," said Burch. "DeKalb shot the ball really well. If we're going to win some games before the year is out, we have to go out and get some stops."

Burch went to a four-guard lineup and took Farnan out to try to cope with the DeKalb trap; however, he put Farnan back in and Farnan responded by converting a 3-point play off a drive with 5:46 left. Davis followed with another 3-point play as well as another layup when Bobby Welch fell down but managed to roll the ball to him. Chad Messner hit a baseline three and Farnan outfought a DeKalb player for a defensive board and hit a free throw, and all of a sudden, Northeast was within 31-22. But Northeast had some lapses as they gave up an offensive board and 3-pointer to kill the rally. Some bad passes and soft defense allowed DeKalb to push the lead back to 41-22 and they led 48-29 at the break.

DeKalb looked poised to blow Northeast away as they scored the first bucket of the second half, but Colby Wiederholt drove down the left side and hit from the left wing against the trap and then Bryce Farnan hit a couple of baseline 3-pointers to make it 50-37. But DeKalb hit some 3-pointers of their own as Northeast went to a zone to try to close off the middle; however, that played into the Tigers' hands as they have been an explosive 3-point shooting team all year. Farnan hit his third 3-pointer of the quarter and Tyler Davis followed with a conventional 3-point play to get back to within 61-48, but back to back 3-pointers against Northeast's zone pushed it right back to 67-48.

Tyler Davis scored nine of his 22 points in the fourth quarter as he had a putback, a 3-pointer, an inside shot, and a coast to coast fast break after one of Northeast's rare defensive stops to clost it to 79-65 with 2:17 left, but DeKalb got a pair of free throws and a putback to kill the rally. Scroggie went coast to coast on a fast break and Bryce Farnan hit a free throw in the closing minutes to account for Northeast's scoring.

Bluejay Girls Coast over Elwood 58-32

Northeast Nodaway's girls started off strong and coasted to a 58-32 win over Elwood last Tuesday night in Platte Valley Conference action. The win was the lone easy game in a string of tough games at the end of the year before districts. Elwood came into the game with some size; that seemed to bother Northeast under the basket to some extent as they missed a lot of close shots in the game. They had a six-footer and two girls over 5'10", all of whom played. However, Northeast was able to use its pressure to harass Elwood's guards and force a ton of traveling and palming violations throughout the game. Michelle Schulte led the steal brigade with six; Blair Schmitz had five steals along with six assists and 10 rebounds.

Elwood came out in a zone, counting on its big players to deny easy baskets. However, it didn't matter as the Schulte sisters combined for 35 points as Jacqueline (21 points) and Michelle (14 points) were both hitting during the contest. Northeast was able to get plenty of open looks from outside as well.

Jacqueline Schulte hit a 3-pointer to start with after Kristin Sherry got some dribble penetration and kicked out. Michelle Schulte got a fast break layup after Elwood threw up a quick 3-pointer to try to match; Kristin Sherry jumped a pass for a steal to make it 7-0. Six-footer Shandell Kretzer hit a free throw, but Blair Schmitz scored from inside and Jacqueline Schulte cut backdoor off an inbounds play to make it 11-1. Kristin Sherry scored from the baseline to make it 13-3. Blair Schmitz picked up her second foul and sat down, which seemed to slow Northeast down as they only made one more basket, a baseline shot from Schulte off a kickout from Jessica Redden as Northeast led 15-5 after one quarter of play.

But as she has so often this year, Michelle Schulte changed the game around, this time with a steal of Elwood's initial possession in the second period to jump start another run for Northeast. Kristin Sherry scored off a skip pass from Blair Schmitz, Jacqueline Schulte followed her own miss following a turnover, and then Northeast converted a four-point play. Cammi Hansen came off the bench to get a steal and Michelle Schulte was fouled in transition. She made her first free throw and missed the second; however, Kristin Sherry managed to throw the ball out of bounds off Kretzer to give Northeast the ball back. On the ensuing possession, Northeast missed a shot but Blair Schmitz made an off-balance grab of the rebound and got it to Hansen just before she fell. Hansen kicked it out to Taylor Dougan for a 3-pointer to make it 25-5 and thwart any comeback hopes.

Following a free throw from Brianna Buckner, Jacqueline Schulte got a steal, fed to Michelle, who fed to Kristin Sherry for the layup. Jacqueline Schulte then got two blocked shots in one possession on the other end and then Michelle Schulte got another steal, fed it to Kristin Sherry, who flipped it to Jacqueline for the drive and layup. Michelle Schulte's free throw made it 30-6 with 2:12 left in the half. Kretzer converted a 3-point play on the other end, but Blair Schmitz hit a pair of free throws after Northeast had collected three offensive boards, Schulte scored on a backdoor layup after Elwood had collapsed on Schmitz in the high post, and Michelle Schulte hit a shot from the right wing after a kickout from Jacqueline as Northeast led 36-13 at the half.

Buckner hit an inside shot with 7:31 left to open the scoring, but Jacqueline Schulte scored off a Michelle Schulte steal and then added a shot from the right baseline. Blair Schmitz scored off a steal to make it 42-15. From there, the Bluejays stalled; there were two factors that contributed to that. First of all, Elwood checked in a freshman, Skyler Kretzer, who sparked the Panthers with her hustle; although she used up all of her fouls in the third, she seemed to give them some spark. Secondly of all, the second half was played at Elwood's slow pace as the referees, seemingly collecting pay for every whistle they blew, called everything.

The Panthers began playing with Northeast much more confidently, cutting the Northeast lead to 51-29 with 4:26 left in the fourth before Northeast caught a second wind and closed out the game on a run. Michelle Schulte hit a free throw, Kenzie Waldeier put back a missed free throw, Emily Bryant stole the ensuing inbounds pass and hit one out of two free throws, Bryant got another steal and Blair Schmitz put back her miss, and Kenzie Waldeier hit one out of two free throws after getting a steal. That made it 58-29 with 2:03 left; Coach Ryan Davis began substituting freely at that point. Sarah Teaney came off the bench for Northeast to tie up a ballhandler from behind and force a traveling call with her ball pressure for the third string.

Northeast Girls Start Strong, Finish Strong against DeKalb

Northeast Nodaway's girls started strong and then finished strong in a 47-38 win over DeKalb that had none of the last-second drama of the King City Tournament finale. But it was a solid recovery from a 73-54 loss against CFX in its previous game. The key difference was in the abilities of the teams to recover from a loss; Northeast has not lost consecutive games yet this year. DeKalb, however, was coming off their worst game of the year, a 48-17 shellacking at the hands of Jefferson that surprised even the Jefferson partisans. The Tigers had also responded to their earlier loss to the Bluejays by losing to North Platte by 25.

The other key stat, supplied by Coach Ryan Davis, concerned the team's rebounding -- Northeast outrebounded DeKalb by 10 and had four different players with five or more rebounds. DeKalb had outrebounded Northeast in the first meeting between the two teams. Tessa Gillis had torched the Bluejays in the first game and gave her team a chance to win it; Northeast held her to 9 in Monday night's meeting. None of the other players went off on Northeast or was able to take over the game. Northeast got the win despite Michelle Schulte being under the weather for the night. "I asked her two or three times if she was all right, but she was," said Coach Davis.

With the win, Northeast clinched third place in the Platte Valley Conference with a 5-2 record behind South Nodaway and Jefferson. The Longhorns beat the Eagles for the conference title earlier in the year. The Bluejays met one of their goals as they wanted to win their Homecoming game. They have one more goal to meet; "We don't want to lose in our white uniforms," said Coach Davis. For that to happen, Northeast will have to get by a very tough Tarkio squad which beat CFX, the team that blitzed Northeast in Craig, 61-56. Northeast will then open districts against North Nodaway in Burlington Junction; the Mustangs have gone 8-13 this year and have shown some firepower in putting up 47 and 60 in losses to CFX and Tarkio respectively.

The game went back and forth until the fourth quarter, when Northeast got its transition game going and put the game away. DeKalb came out in the half-court trap that Northeast had trouble with the first time; however, Northeast had a much easier time playing against it the second time. Northeast did a much better job of getting the ball to the middle and attacking the basket; Blair Schmitz kicked it out to Kristin Sherry for an easy layup and to Emily Bryant for a jumper; Bryant would go on to hit a shot from the top of the key and a shot from the wing in the period to collect six for the quarter. That forced DeKalb to play honest on her and opened up the lanes for Jacqueline Schulte. Michelle Schulte added a putback to make it 8-3. Jacqueline Schulte got a putback and Kenzie Waldeier came off the bench for a rebound putback and Northeast went ahead 16-7.

Although Gillis was bottled up, DeKalb went to McKenzie Reagan to bring them back in the game and she got a driving layup and a kickout to Paige Hartman; Hartman added a 3-pointer that capped an 11-1 run that put DeKalb back up 18-17. But that was the story of the night for DeKalb; they would use up their energy making runs that would give them the lead, only to wear themselves out doing so and allowing Northeast to jump right back in front. Jacqueline Schulte drove straight down the middle of the DeKalb trap, Kristin Sherry scored off a Michelle Schulte steal, and Jacqueline Schulte drove down the middle of the trap again and drew a foul, making one of two to put Northeast back in front 25-20 at the break.

But the second half started off badly for Northeast as they gave up a four-point play as Gillis drove to the basket and drew the foul, missed the free throw, and Reagan was there for the putback. Hartman scored from the high post and DeKalb was right back in front at 26-25. Northeast struggled against the trap, being unable to mount any kind of scoring threat until Blair Schmitz drove to the basket with 4:06 left to cut it to 28-27 to break a four-minute scoring drought. DeKalb switched to their man to man, but Jacqueline Schulte posted up and scored to tie it at 30 before DeKalb hit a baseline shot with six seconds left in the third to go back ahead.

Northeast made a key adjustment that made a big difference from last time -- they went to a 1-3-1 zone which made it a lot more difficult for Gillis to drive at will against them like she did in the first game. For the first three minutes of the fourth quarter, the game looked like it would be a repeat of the last game, which went to the wire. The only score during that frame was a free throw from Reagan that allowed DeKalb to match its largest lead of the game at 33-30. But all of a sudden, Jacqueline Schulte made a clutch play as she has done so often throughout the past three years as she drove straight down the middle of the trap again for a layup with 5:34 left. That seemed to burst open a dam. DeKalb threw up a quick shot to respond, but it went astray and Michelle Schulte got the defensive board and went coast to coast, dishing off to Blair Schmitz to put Northeast up to stay. Northeast got another defensive stop and got the ball to Schmitz against the trap, but the Tigers overextended, leaving Kristin Sherry all alone for the layup. Sherry added a free throw to make it 37-33 with 3:36 left.

Gillis got a putback to cut it to two and Emily Bryant missed an open baseline shot. But Kristin Sherry was there for the putback to make it a four-point game again at 39-35. The Bluejays got another stop and then Northeast began running out the clock as DeKalb went to their full court press. Northeast went six for eight down the stretch from the line as Kristin Sherry, Blair Schmitz, Jacqueline Schulte, and Cammi Hansen all had free throws during the stretch; Michelle Schulte had a steal and drive as well to account for the scoring. Krista Harvey made a meaningless 3-pointer with 12.8 seconds to account for the final score.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Amazing Tigers Win!!

It was a long time coming -- the Worth County girls had been knocking on heaven's door and were denied entrance for the whole season. But with four games to spare, the Tigers finally put everything together and got their first win of the season, forcing the reporter to the barber shop the next day. Worth County used one of their most productive quarters of the year, a 15-point outburst in the third period, to stun Ridgeway 36-27 in Friday night action.

Worth County scored four quick points at the start of the game as Haley Green scored from inside and Jessica Borey drove down the right baseline. For the rest of the quarter, neither team could establish control. Ridgeway, at 13-5, had every reason to believe they could beat the Tigers and end a 20+ year losing streak dating back to the 1980's, before all of the players were born. Back then, Ronald Reagan was in the White House, the Soviet Union was still around, Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics were an NBA powerhouse, Wayne Winstead was coaching at Northwest Missouri State, and area coaching legends Claude Samson and Donnie Edwards were dominating area basketball at Northeast Nodaway and Jefferson respectively.

Ridgeway tried to follow the lead of every other opponent who had beaten the Tigers -- they put on a fullcourt press and hoped the turnovers and layups would follow. But the world seemingly turned upside down as it was the Tigers who were handling the press while it was Ridgeway who was committing the kind of silly mistakes and fouls that doomed the Tigers throughout their season. Worth County missed a ton of shots in the early going, keeping Ridgeway close; however, the Tigers would not let Hannah Booth, the Owls' best player, take over the game, holding her to 8 points. Jessica Borey stuffed her in the second quarter and then hit a 3-pointer as Worth County took its biggest lead so far at 10-5 with 7:08 left in the second. Ridgeway crept closer, cutting the deficit to 10-8. But they were in danger as Jessie Joiner picked up three quick fouls in the first period; Ridgeway had only five players, meaning that were someone to foul out, they would have to finish with four. Worth County put on a half-court trap and responded with a scoring spurt as Brooke Gilland burned the press for a layup, Jessica Borey hit a pair of free throws, and Gilland added with a take to the rack as someone for the Owls forgot where they were supposed to be at. But Ridgeway crept closer, trailing only 16-12 at the break after they made some adjustments and broke the trap with some quick passing.

It was time to hold one's breath as the Tigers had led opponents before, only to be done in as the game wore on. But Worth County played some opportunistic basketball as they put together one of their best quarters of the year. Borey opened the period with a 3-pointer from the right side. The Tigers were still missing shots, but they were playing solid defense, only allowing the Owls one shot down the court. Brooke Gilland, playing her best game all year, hauled in a ton of boards for the Tigers on both ends, including a putback that made it 21-13 with 4:54 left in the third. Ashley Reynolds added an inside shot off an inbounds play and a free throw, and the Tigers were up 24-13. At that point, Ridgeway's players had the looks of a team that knew that they were beat.

Hannah Booth hit an inside shot, but Brooke Adams responded with a shot from the top of the key to make it 26-15. Sidney Ellis then picked up her fourth foul for Ridgeway. At that point, the Tigers showed some of the basketball instincts that Coach April Healy had wanted them to develop all year. Ellis was the bottom player in the 2-3 zone, meaning that she had to guard Haley Green; the Tigers began feeding the ball to Green with an immediate payoff as Ellis went to the bench with her fifth foul, leaving Ridgeway with four players. Rilee Ellis hit a 3-pointer to make it 27-18, but Green hit an inside shot off a feed from Akaysha Ragan and Adams hit a shot from the right wing. In the fourth quarter, Jessica Borey hit a free throw, Green hit an inside shot off a fast break, and Jessica Garrett hit an inside shot with 3:18 left to give Worth County its largest lead at 36-20 before Coach Healy turned things over to her JV.

Long Ways to go for Bluejay Girls.

When playing tough teams, one tends to learn a lot about themselves that they might not have otherwise. And so it was for Northeast Nodaway's girls in their 73-54 loss to Craig/Fairfax (CFX). The first lesson is that they can score against almost everyone short of Jefferson. But the second is that they have a long ways to go before they can challenge either CFX or Jefferson in the upcoming district tournament in Burlington Junction. And with the season winding down, the Bluejays have to get better in a hurry.

"We had to hold them under 45 to have a chance to win," said Coach Ryan Davis. But not only did Northeast fail to buy a stop, they allowed CFX's two best players, Amanda Geib (25 points) and Whitney Harrington (21 points), to combine for over 45 points alone. The trouble began when Blair Schmitz picked up two quick fouls at the start of the game, allowing CFX to turn a manageable 6-4 deficit into a 28-11 deficit at the end of the first quarter, as nobody was able to stop Geib in the post from scoring at will. She was constantly getting behind defenders for backdoor layups as CFX ran their weave offense against the man to man to perfection; when Northeast went to a zone to try to stop her, Harrington would drop 3-pointers. And if Northeast would help out on Geib, Harrington would go to the basket and either dish off or go in for the layup.

Schmitz picked up her third foul early in the second quarter, but Northeast prevented it from getting any worse. Michelle Schulte, who has been improving her point production, had a 3-pointer and Kristin Sherry took a charge at the end of the half which seemed to fire up Northeast going into the second half. When the Bluejays took the floor in the beginning of the third, they looked like a completely different team. "We played our A game in the second half," said Davis. "Our players have to understand that in order to beat Jefferson, South Nodaway, and CFX, we have to play our A game the whole time."

Jacqueline Schulte hit two 3-pointers right off the bat and Michelle Schulte added another one as Northeast got right back in the game with a 10-0 run. Taylor Dougan came off the bench to hit another 3-pointer and Michelle Schulte hit a pair of free throws and Northeast got the game back into single digits at 43-35. Then, at the start of the fourth, Kristin Sherry hit from the right corner after some good ball reversal and Michelle Schulte hit a 3-pointer after a kickout from Jacqueline to make it 48-42. But the bugs that have been haunting Northeast all year came back to bite as they had a chance to cut it to four, but failed to use the backboard on a close-range shot.

CFX never gave them another chance as they went back to attacking the basket and getting easy looks for Geib and Harrington as CFX got into the bonus and got back in control. Their free throw shooting was a key stat in the game as they made 20 out of their 24 free throws on the night. A 3-point play from Geib and free throws from Geib and Harrington pushed the margin back to 58-44, and the Bulldogs got a ton of easy layups down the stretch to push the margin back to 19.