New field a step up at BLHS
It was fitting that the sun was shining late Monday afternoon as the Basehor-Linwood junior varsity boys soccer team put the finishing touches on a 6-0 victory over Sumner Academy.
Moments later, BLHS athletics director Joe Keeler grabbed the microphone and began introductions. Mind you, these weren't the starting lineups - those came about 10 minutes later. Instead, Keeler introduced members of the school board, community representatives and facilities staff who played a role in the building of the new high school soccer field.
After that, starters were introduced, members of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post presented the colors and BLHS student Jessica Farris sang the national anthem. Cheerleaders released green and yellow balloons into the sky.
Then the inaugural varsity soccer game kicked off. Sumner won the match 3-2 in double overtime, but the simple fact that the new field is in use was a victory in its own right for the Bobcats.
This has been a long time coming for a Basehor program that has been one of the best in the Kaw Valley League in recent years.
Soccer has been growing steadily within the community. It has been noticeable with the success at the high school level, and even moreso in the younger ranks within the Basehor-Linwood Soccer Association.
The current high school players are the first to enjoy the new facility, but it's that younger generation that will benefit from it the most. After all, many of them lined the sidelines in recent years to watch the high-scoring Bobcats bury goals into the net and win Kaw Valley League championships. Just like many young boys do for football, young soccer players have looked up to the BLHS boys and girls soccer players. Many of those same young players look at the current Bobcats and can't wait to make their own mark on the program.
This new facility should enhance their dreams even more. The investment in the new facility sends a strong message to the youth of this community that soccer is taken seriously here. The field and stadium lights are nice, and they should serve the Bobcats well for years to come.
If you looked closely, you could see grass seed sitting atop the dirt in a few patches surrounding the field, reminiscent of a facility still in its infant stages. Come next spring, the seed should be gone, new grass in its place. Just like the facility itself, a new era of Basehor soccer will be born.