McCook athletes on a roll
As the middle of the fall sports season approaches, the McCook High School Bison are riding the crest of success, with the football, softball and tennis teams all enjoying exceptional starts to their seasons.
Heading into the fourth week of September, the Bison football team is ranked Number One in Class B with a 3-0 record, and the McCook softball squad is rated fourth in Class B with a 16-0 record, the best start in school history.
The tennis team also is performing at a superior level, with two invitational tournament titles in the early weeks of the season.
McCook is also proud of the competitive effort put forth by the Bison's volleyball, golf and cross country teams.
The McCook High School activities director, Rick Haney, has been a part of the Bison program for the majority of the past 30 years, competing at MHS as a high school athlete from 1977 through 1980, then returning as a coach following college.
In that time, he has seen the program transformed by good coaching, an involved community and dedicated athletes.
"We are very, very fortunate to have the staff that we do in McCook," Haney said, pointing out that a number have 20 to 30 years plus in the coaching field. Because of the coaches' many years of experience, their rapport with the kids and their willingness to mentor younger coaches, the activities director said he is convinced that McCook's coaches "are as good as there are anywhere in the state."
Another key ingredient in McCook's athletic success, Haney believes, is the community. "The people of McCook put a high value on activities," he said. "That shows among our students. You see very few of them walking the halls with nothing to do."
In the final analysis, that may be the best thing about McCook High School's athletic program. Through sports, MHS students are getting an opportunity to succeed through teamwork and diligent effort.
That's not only a valuable lesson during their high school years, it will serve them well throughout their lives.