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  • Talking Sports: Looking forward to the big game

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Sep 17, 2015

    Friday night is the big game in Sidney. If you love sports, you love the big games most of all. The Sidney Red Raiders will be hosting the McCook Bison at Weymouth Field on Friday at 7 p.m. Both teams are undefeated at 3-0, and both are considered among the best Class B teams in Nebraska. Of course, it's early in the season. So no matter who wins or loses, it's not likely to ruin – or make – their season. Throughout the sports year, there are always times when a big game comes along - even...

  • Talking Sports: Weekend of local sports action

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Sep 10, 2015

    W ith Labor Day now in the rearview mirror, the local sports seasons kick into high gear. After a quiet holiday weekend, the upcoming two days are full of activity. On the gridiron, all the local teams will be in action this weekend - with all but one playing at home. In the Friday match ups, Sidney will welcome Hastings at 7 p.m., Sedgwick County (Colo.) will visit Leyton in Dalton at 7 p.m., the Buffaloes of Caliche High School (Illif, Colo.) will be in Potter to take on the Coyotes at 7 p.m....

  • Talking Sports: Time for the rest of the local teams to kick off

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Sep 3, 2015

    For two of the football teams in The Sidney Sun-Telegraph coverage area, Friday will be the first game of their season. For another, the Peetz Bulldogs, it will seem like a season opener in many respects. The two squads opening their campaigns on Friday night are the Potter-Dix Coyotes and the Leyton Warriors. The Coyotes host the Morrill Lions in Potter at 7 p.m., while the Warriors will travel the road to Mullen for a 6:30 p.m. start. Heading into their second week of action are the Sidney...

  • Talking Sports: The Eagle – and this writer – have landed

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Aug 27, 2015

    There's only one thing that's ever been on my bucket list. But I did it well before the term bucket list was ever coined. When the 1990s began, I believed I should commit myself to achieving the goal, before the decade was out, of jumping out of a plane and returning safely to earth. No single space project in that period would be more impressive to me, or more important, to my long-range exploration of space; and none would be so difficult or expensive to accomplish. President John Kennedy's...

  • Talking Sports - Fall is here: Let the high school games begin

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Aug 20, 2015

    I'm sure you've all felt it – that touch of fall that has been in the air for a few days this week. Of course, it will be over 90 degrees on Friday – but that can't erase the recent warning by mother nature that the football, volleyball, cross country and girls' golf seasons are near at hand. The cool mornings, the odor of decaying leaves, the beginning of school and wildly fluctuating temperatures are all signs summer is on the slow ride to fall. I love summer, but I'm ready for fall – at...

  • Talking Sports: Gifford will be missed by many

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Aug 13, 2015

    I was sorry to hear about the death of Frank Gifford earlier this week. He was the last surviving member of the greatest sports broadcast booth there ever was. Gifford's playing days with the New York football Giants was before my time. I remember him as a broadcaster for ABC Sports. He covered the Olympic Games, basketball, golf and even a number of offbeat "sports" for ABC's Wide World of Sports. As a matter of fact, Gifford was there to describe the action when motorcycle daredevil Evel...

  • Talking Sports: Fear of water should be halted early in life

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Aug 6, 2015

    I came across a several-year old story in Slate magazine that discussed the drowning deaths of six teenagers in Louisiana. None of the victims or the adult bystanders knew how to swim. The article went on to state that it was likely that one-third to about one-half of Americans couldn't swim. Further, a 1994 survey was cited in which 37 percent of American adults said they couldn't swim 24 yards. A University of Memphis study revealed that 54 percent of children between the ages of 12 and 18...

  • Talking Sports: Nebraska baseball, MLB has co-existed

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Jul 23, 2015

    Once upon a time, I could be transfixed for hours by the Baseball Encyclopedia or Baseball Almanac. Now the information once housed in those enormous volumes can be found at our fingertips on the internet. I spent some time recently scanning through all the players born in Nebraska who have played in the major leagues. It's a long list but most of them seem to be from back east – Lincoln and Omaha are well represented. The Panhandle not so much. It's a population thing of course. The odds are...

  • Talking Sports: I've talked with Babe Ruth ... sort of

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Jul 16, 2015

    I've spoken to Babe Ruth – almost. Not long ago, I read an excerpt from a book about Babe Ruth's called shot in the 1932 World Series. As part of his research the author, Ed Sherman, spoke with Ruth's 96-year-old adopted daughter, Julia Ruth Stevens. Sherman told Stevens what a "thrill" it was to be speaking with her. After a quip of the kind one might expect from "The Babe" himself, the old woman told Sherman, "People always say, 'It's such an honor to meet you.' I know they're saying that...

  • Talking Sports: Sidney juniors ready for shot at district crown

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Jul 9, 2015

    Somehow it seems like only a couple of weeks ago that the American Legion teams opened their seasons. Nevertheless, the post season has arrived – for the juniors anyway -– ready or not. While the seniors have two double headers on tap for next week, the juniors have no more time to find their peak form. It's now or never time for them. On Friday, the District B-7 American Legion Juniors Tournament opens up at Oregon Trail Park in Gering with six teams battling for a berth in the state...

  • Talking Sports: Legion coach makes tough call on rosters

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Jul 2, 2015

    Whenever the postseason in any sport nears, I always have the same reaction – the season sure went by fast. Well, it's that time of the season again. In just eight days on July 10, the American Legion juniors will be entering their district tournament at Oregon Trail Park in Gering. Should they win their district, then it would be off to Blair for state. While the seniors have a few more weeks to hone their skills, their districts are not far off either. The Sidney seniors will host their...

  • Talking Sports: Stingrays meet, baseball tourney will fill weekend

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Jun 25, 2015

    For summertime, it's a pretty big weekend coming up in local sports. First, the Sidney Stingrays swim team will hold its lone home meet of the season here in town. They will take on all their league opponents that include Bridgeport, Hemingford, Alliance, Torrington (Wyo.) and Rushville at the Sidney pool located next to the Cheyenne County Community Center. The first event is scheduled for 9 a.m. The enthusiasm for swimming is strong in Sidney as the Stingrays are the largest team of the six...

  • Talking Sports: Sidney's title in 1945 was welcomed distraction

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Jun 18, 2015

    In the winter of 1945, there were more important things going on in the world than the Sidney High School basketball team's drive for a state championship. Perhaps that's what made the '45 Maroons such a perfect diversion for a distracted community. While La Verne Couch was leading the Sidney High team to its first state championship in front of large and boisterous crowds all season, the bloodiest war in human history still raged across Europe and Asia. Despite the madness of a world at war, it...

  • Talking Sports: Youth baseball tourney brings attention to cancer

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Jun 11, 2015

    My Mom, G-Ma Packer, S. Schroeder, Aunt Cheryl, Dr. Shaw, Aunt Janine, Aunt Char, DaNelle, Grandma Menken, Grandma Mary, Brooke's Mom, My Best Friend, Mom & Kim. Unfortunately, even many 12-year-olds have known someone who has had breast cancer. That's evident by the above list of names that will be printed on the back of the pink jerseys worn by the Sidney 12U baseball players at this weekend's Wood Bat Tournament in Legion Park. Those names represent people the players know personally....

  • Talking Sports: Quoting 'rival' causes stir on Facebook

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|May 28, 2015
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    At the 2015 NSAA State Track and Field Championships in Omaha last weekend, I watched the final event from the west hill at Burke Stadium. My vantage point for the race was perfect for watching, and Sidney High's Donna Wiedeburg had us covered for photos. The race was close from start-to-finish, but when Hunter Secrest passed the leader down the stretch in the third leg, I began to think Sidney could win a state championship. Over the final 400 meters, Alex Linneman had the lead on the final... Full story

  • Talking Sports: Time for the state track meet, but wasn't it just fall?

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|May 21, 2015

    Wasn't it just a few days ago that state basketball concluded in Lincoln? Well, it sure seems like it. Especially when you look outside and see a blinding snow storm. It's hard to believe Nebraska state track is just hours away and opening day for the American Legion baseball program is just days away. The Red/Black scrimmage at Legion Park Thursday night at 6 is just a taste of what's to come. Opening day is this Sunday at Legion Field with a junior/senior doubleheader against McCook. The junio...

  • Talking Sports: Rooting for NHL's Rangers can be big distraction

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|May 14, 2015

    I don’t follow professional sports as closely as I once did. Maybe there’s just not as much time or maybe it’s less exciting to watch the teams I’ve rooted for all my life struggle year after year. When I was a kid, I would root for my favorite baseball team with everything I had, even if they were 30 games out of first in September. That just doesn’t work for me any more. But even now, I get excited when one of my teams gets into the playoffs. Even if one of my favorites start to play well early in the season, I begin to get...

  • Talking Sports: As competition heats up, reflecting on triumphs

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|May 7, 2015

    We’re now one week into May, the biggest month on the spring sports calendar. Saturday begins the local post season with the Peetz Bulldogs heading to Lakewood, Colo. for baseball regionals. There are six days left before the Class D-11 district track meet. One week from today, the Class B-6 track meet will be held and the start of state track in Colorado gets under way. In 11 days, district golf tees up in both Class B and D. There are 15 days to Nebraska state track. State golf in classes B and D are on tap for May 27, and May 25. With all...

  • Talking Sports: Violence leads to odd empty house

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Apr 30, 2015

    Earlier this week the Baltimore Orioles played in front of an empty stadium. Somehow word leaked out that the O’s beat the Chicago White Sox, 8-2. Because of the unrest in the city after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody and the violence that followed, the decision was made to play a major league baseball game in front of an empty house for the first time in history. The powers that be have also decided to move this weekend’s Orioles home series with the Tampa Bay Rays to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. – home of the...

  • Talking Sports: Double 'no-nos' pretty special feat

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Apr 23, 2015

    Eat your heart out Ernie Lombardi. There have been a few interesting local sports stories of note over that past week. Tuesday’s Peetz baseball game, which was played in front of no more than 20 onlookers, has to top the list. Congratulations to Peetz Bulldogs’ catcher Brian Roelle. How many baseball catchers – at any level – can say they caught two no-hitters on the same afternoon? It must be a pretty small club. In a doubleheader in Weldona, Colo., on Tuesday, Peetz pitchers Bradey Holtz and Cody Wilson each threw a no hitter as the B...

  • Talking Sports: Spring sports coming to exciting finishes

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Apr 16, 2015

    After Sidney High School freshman Jakob Austad landed in the long jump pit last Friday at the Mitchell Invite, he bounced up and waited for the tape to be read. He sensed it was a good one. After the tape was stretched and the verdict read, Austad pumped his fist in excitement. It was the longest he’d ever jumped. On his next leap, he went even farther. Believe it or not, there’s not much time left for personal-best efforts. Amazingly enough, the spring sports season has entered the home stretch. There are just 19 school days left until...

  • Talking Sports: Opening Day brings back fond memories

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Apr 9, 2015

    “To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born.” No good. Better not plagiarize Charles Dickens so early in the morning. “I was born in the house that my father built.” That’s how Richard Nixon opened his autobiography. But I was born in a Long Island hospital on a cold, snowy morning. “My family is American, and has been for generations, in all its branches direct and collateral.” Great line, and true enough for my family too. But Ulysses Grant came up with that opening sentence to his life story more...

  • Talking Sports: Tiger at the Masters still worth watching

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Apr 2, 2015

    I saw an article online recently indicating that Tiger Woods had fallen off the world’s Top 100 golfers list for the first time since 1996. Considering his amazing and rapid rise to the top – and subsequent domination of the PGA Tour – I find that pretty astounding. There have been a lot of articles written about Woods lately. But that’s always been the case – especially whenever a major rolls around. It’s even more so at Masters time – a championship he has won four times. Though Woods owns four green jackets, he hasn’t been...

  • It's time to get the spring sports rolling

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Mar 26, 2015

    Already twice postponed, the opening of the area baseball season will try again this afternoon in Peetz. The Bulldogs will host the Prairie Mustangs in a doubleheader – unless cancelled again. On Friday, the golf season opens. Sidney will travel to North Platte to take on a host of schools at 9 a.m. MDT. The day after tomorrow, the real track and field season begins. You know – the one outdoors. The Sidney Invite, with guests Creek Valley, Leyton and others, is scheduled for Saturday at 9:30 a.m. The weather man is calling for a sunny day...

  • Talking Sports: Peetz, Sidney put on great show for fans

    Stephen McKay, Sports Writer|Mar 19, 2015

    It’s been quite a week. Congratulations to the Peetz and Sidney boys’ basketball teams for giving their fans a great show at state. I didn’t get to see the ‘Dogs in Loveland, but at least I saw them punch their ticket at regionals. The Peetz vs. Arickaree/Woodlin regional final might have been the most entertaining game I saw all year – and that’s saying a lot. There’s something exciting about watching a team that is clearly an underdog work themselves to complete exhaustion in pursuit of victory. They wanted to win so badly they...

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