COVID-19 has struck again, this time putting a premature end to the season of the Pride of Wildcat Land Marching Band. Director Dr. Frank Tracz cited increased virus exposure over the last week, stating: “I made the only call that I could considering all the facts, statistics and present escalating situation.” He says the band will find a way to honor the seniors, at some point. Texas will not have to share space with the Pride on December 5, a break that Mike Gundy sure wishes his Cowboys could have enjoyed.
The band is not the only team worried this week. The Star reports that Klieman is concerned about the number of players currently quarantined, characterizing the team as “on the cusp.” He implied that any further bad news this week would threaten Saturday’s trip to Ames.
Proceeding as if the game will...um...proceed, the athletic department posted its usual preview, and Kellis Robinett at the Star and Ben Visser in enemy territory for the Gazette posted competing “Five things to Know” columns. As with all things Farmageddon, the K-State preview wins a narrow victory courtesy of a late and inexplicable Iowa State turnover. As Randy Peterson at the Des Moines Register puts it: Can the Iowa State-Kansas State rivalry get any crazier? Sure it can in this anything-goes season.
We are eight days from the first tipoff of the basketball season, and in his podcast Blair Kerkhoff discussed with Coach Weber and the other area coaches how COVID-19 is every team’s first opponent.
Assuming they can hold that opponent at bay, the Wildcats will begin their season at 1:00 on Wednesday, November 25 against Drake. K-State also adjusted its schedule, as the previously-planned matchup against South Dakota on December 29 will now feature Omaha, instead, since South Dakota is making a trip to Manhattan next week as a replacement in the Wildcat Classic for previously-scheduled South Dakota State.
As Jon noted yesterday, Coach Mike Dibbini will need to replace lots of experience on the K-State squad that made progress this season, finishing with three Big 12 wins. He made a step in that direction by luring North Carolina State midfielder Kursten Von Klahr to Manhattan via transfer. Von Klahr has logged over 500 minutes of playing time for the Wolfpack, including a start in an NCAA Sweet-16 game. The ACC played no soccer season this year, and Von Klahr will begin the second semester at K-State as a junior.
In Sports Extra, Austin Siegel relived Senior Night, touting it as a milestone that there was no drama; K-State beat 2019 NCAA tournament participant Texas Tech by simply being the better team. Progress.