Posts Tagged ‘HutchCC’

New season, new role for Blue Dragon sophomore

Friday, February 16th, 2018

By Lucas Barlow
Sports Editor

As the postseason nears for the Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team, veteran players will have to step up as leaders to help get the Blue Dragons in top form for the regional and, maybe, the national tournament in March.

One of those players is sophomore guard Tiylar Cotton.

Cotton was a member of last year’s team that went 35-2 en route to the NJCAA national championship. One year later, he hopes to return to the championship game as a much more experienced and well-rounded player.

Born and raised in Wichita, Cotton attended Wichita North High School, where he was a 2016 graduate. He is one of the two current players on the Blue Dragon roster who hail from Kansas.

Cotton decided to play at HutchCC because he felt they had a great coaching staff, and indeed they do. Since head coach Steve Eck’s arrival in 2009, the Blue Dragons had amassed a 231-46 record prior to this season.

Cotton played in almost every game his freshman year, only absent in five games. He  averaged 9.2 minutes per game, as he had to play behind Hutchinson all-time great guard Samajae Haynes-Jones, who now plays at Wichita State.

Throughout the year, Cotton posted solid totals for the amount of time he played. After his team won the national championship in 2017, Cotton listed it as one of his greatest accomplishments.

“Winning a national championship was an unreal feeling,” Cotton said. “We had been working all year for that, and when the time came, it seemed like a dream.”

This season is a bit different for Cotton. He now has doubled his minutes per game, and his role for the team has changed. The game against Pratt on Jan. 24 was his best game yet – he posted a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while also getting six assists.

With only four games left in the regular season, Cotton looks to stay focused

“My goals for the rest of the season are to just focus on winning the rest of our conference games,” Cotton said. “After that, then we can worry about regionals and nationals.”

The Blue Dragons are currently 21-4 (17-4 conf.) and ranked No. 14th in the country. They will next play Saturday at the Sports Arena against Cowley. It will also be the college’s annual Pink Out Night.

Holthus lecture was a touchdown

Friday, February 9th, 2018

By Brenna Eller
Opinion Page Editor

Mitch Holthus, the man who paints a picture with his words as “The Voice of the Kansas City Chiefs”, spoke at the first Dillon Lecture Series of the Hutchinson Community College 2018 spring semester on Tuesday at the Sports Arena.

In his speech, “Success in Being Different”, he used several examples of being different in a giving manner.

Mitch Holthus is a Smith Center native and still gives on-air and Twitter shoutouts every now and then to the Redmen. He and his wife, Tami, who is from McPherson, both graduated from Kansas State. She played basketball and later became the assistant coach for their daughter’s basketball team at Silver Lake, which won a state championship in the Sports Arena.

Along with announcing Chiefs and ESPN games, Mitch Holthus also does some things to help others. When Joplin, Missouri was devastated by a tornado, he helped provide water for the community. He also helps people within his job.

A blind man, Cameron Black, one of many affected by Mitch Holthus and his ability to speak a portrait, learned to love football because of Holthus. As shown in a video from The Kansas City Star, Holthus has made a huge impact in the man’s life because Black’s daughter, who has the same disease, also listens to the Chiefs’ games.

After seeing the video for the first time, Holthus said, “It stopped me in my tracks. If I mean everything to Cameron, if I can paint a picture verbally to someone who can’t see, I am helping someone by being different.”

Holthus also mentioned and introduced three HutchCC students in the crowd – Tyler Pauley from Garden Plain, Jeff Brandon from Hutchinson, and Ashton Hawkins from Smith Center, who all have done extraordinary things at this college, and work hard in and outside of school.

At the press conference before the event, Holthus answered questions regarding his career as a well-known sports announcer. One question that was asked pertained to a possible downfall in NFL fans in the last few years. He answered that it was a good question and that it “seems” to be a decline to some, but said that people don’t see everything with the NFL, only what is covered by reporters.

He pointed out the national anthem protests becoming a popular look on the league, but also explained that people don’t see the “behind-the scenes” action of players. Some, like Alex Smith, do remarkable things outside of the Chiefs. Smith helps foster kids earn college scholarships and donates to their organization.

Because he witnesses generous acts with the Chiefs and throughout Kansas, Mitch Holthus has a soft spot for the people and the state itself.

“I love this state, I made three career moves, yet still remained here in Kansas,” Holthus said.

He said how honored he was to speak at the Sports Arena and to share his experiences. Being from Smith Center has taught him how to be the man he is today and he seeks to find others who are different with success.

“To take the game beyond the game, it then becomes a celebration for anyone,” Holthus said.

One question that stood out to him was asked by a high school student from Inman. She asked about his love for announcing and how he became who he is today.

“Who you are and how you were raised makes you original,” Holthus said. “We all come from different home lives, but work ethic is a huge part of making an impression too.”

He stated several times that to be a good journalist, work ethic is important, but being a journalist also comes with great sacrifices. He has had to manage a family alongside his career, and although he loves what he does, Holthus expressed regrets for the moments he has missed, such as his daughter Hayley’s championship game. Brian, his son, had always dreamed of running on the Sports Arena court like his sister had. That never happened because his team never got to state.

During the lecture, Holthus presented a slideshow of the steps of differences that lead to success. Throughout his speech, he used a metaphor of floodwaters, such as the Arkansas River, or Gulf of Mexico flooding lives and trying to slow people down from reaching their ultimate goals. He explained “Empathetic Equity” – Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

The example he used for this was one of his favorite Chiefs, Derrick Johnson, who has funded about 15 reading dens in Kansas City and does things without expecting a reward, only from the kindness of his heart. In the summer last year, Johnson spent a lot of time practicing football with a younger player who hadn’t even made it through tryouts. Holthus noticed this and thought it was generous and showed him the kind of man Johnson is aside from football.

There were many more examples and topics. One of the last differences, “Being Different by Standing Firm”, was to show that people have to work for their success and shouldn’t run from their responsibilities.

“My job is to stand the post when it’s good or bad,” Holthus said. “Many times it isn’t easy, but you still stand the post like a marine in front of the embassy.”

Finishing with the last difference where Holthus discovered his relative, who was a poor European man that moved to Nebraska and joined the Union in the Civil War. He stood shoulder to shoulder with the black men in the blue uniforms. It was a major step in the American culture, and Holthus said he was proud to be related to the man that didn’t look down upon the African American men fighting by his side.

This thought led to his final statement that we will all leave marks on the world, but “what footprints will we leave?”

 

‘Tis the season to be … hateful?

Friday, December 1st, 2017

As sang by MAGIC!: Why you gotta be so rude?

There has been too much arguing going on and not enough happiness and cheer being spread around this season.

Thanksgiving seems to have gone by so fast and yet did anyone really stop to think about what they are thankful for? Or did they just eat a gigantic meal and take a nap afterwards?

With all of the terrible events happening recently, the world could use some laugher and kindness.

What ever happened to being hospitable and welcoming to people?

It seems that society is too wrapped up in social media and certain standards of “normal” that they treat people like they are the better person.

There are too many hypocrites in this world and with a bit of warm Christmas spirit, you can improve someone’s day. Just a friendly smile can make someone’s day or asking how they are doing could impact their mood.

So what is with all of the judging going on? Tabloids and TV shows make gossip too hard to resist, and we try to fit into “Hollywood” expectations, which are almost impossible to accomplish.

Why must we compare ourselves with everyone around us? There is no reason to point out flaws in you or someone else just by a one-second glance.

Think about people judging you based on your appearance. You probably wouldn’t like that very much either. “Killing people with kindness” is a great rule of thumb that everyone should use.

Be happy this Christmas and help others be happy too, and don’t judge people just because you think you know what’s going on in their lives. Take the time to get to know someone before you write them off.

Come on people, it’s the time to be jolly! It isn’t the time for a bunch of Scrooges to be ruining the cheery time of year for others.

The unfortunate events of Brenna: My Christmas experience

Friday, December 1st, 2017

By Brenna Eller
Opinion Page Editor

Every year, my family would take a trip to see my grandparents in Atwood.

It’s a good four-hour drive from Little River. We don’t go very often anymore because our grandparents moved to Little River, but Atwood is still one of my favorite places to visit.

One Christmas, I believe I was about 7-years old, I went to a friend’s birthday party after our YMCA basketball game. I ended up staying the night there and the next morning my family was planning on going to Atwood.

My dad stayed home this time, so my mom came and picked me up with my three sisters. On the way, my younger sister and I had our usual fights about not having enough room in our family’s mini-van and about staying on our own sides of the seats.

Four agonizing hours later, we finally spotted the tell-tale plants and hills of Atwood, we all got excited.
The whole way, I had been trying not to itch my head because it had been bothering me that entire time. I told my mom, but she didn’t think there was anything to worry about.

When we got to our grandparents’ house we noticed that their lights were all off and their car was gone. My mom decided to call them and we found out that they were actually in Texas seeing some family members.
So we saw some other family in Atwood, since my family is originally from there. My mom has a lot of friends there too so we still had plenty to do even though our grandparents were gone.

So, what is the unfortunate event you ask? WelI, I was sitting at the dining room table itching my head again, what seemed like the millionth time. This time it was a horrible feeling like something was crawling around on my head. I put my fingers to my scalp and at the same place I was going to scratch, I touched a little bug. I pulled it out and looked at it in disbelief.

My mom came in after hearing me scream. She asked, “What’s wrong?” And I just told her to look on my head. She did and she started yelling too.

After combing through my hair and putting any kind of solution she could find in it to drown the disgusting creatures, we finally killed all of the lice.

We disinfected the entire house, washed any blankets, sheets, and stuffed animals we could find, and then went on with the rest of our trip paranoid.

On the bright side, I haven’t had lice since then. Hopefully I will never have to go through that again.

A new beginning for The Collegian

Friday, December 1st, 2017

By Brad Hallier
Collegian Advisor

I’ve never been an educator before this semester started. All I’ve ever known in the professional world was being a sports journalist.

When my time as a newspaper guy ended on May 31st of this year, my future was as uncertain as a typical college student’s. Fortunately, some outstanding people at Hutchinson Community College recommended that I become the new journalism instructor and adviser to The Hutchinson Collegian.

I love journalism. After my family and soccer, journalism is my true love. Having the opportunity to teach college students journalism was intriguing and exciting. Really, all I wanted to do this semester was pass on my love of journalism.

I don’t know whether I succeeded in that or not. But here’s what I do know – the seven students who were on staff this semester worked their baguettes off to make The Collegian the source to read news about HutchCC.

While I have never been an educator before, I didn’t come into this semester naïve. I’m well aware of what had happened with The Collegian the last few years and that there were some bridges burned. But I wasn’t concerned with any of that. One of the first days of class, I let my students know what our goal was for this semester – to have people read our product.

I wanted to see students looking at our newspaper. I wanted to see faculty and staff reading it. I wanted an increased web presence and improved social media. I wanted to see people sharing stories on Facebook and retweeting stories on Twitter.

Again, I don’t know how well we succeeded at that, but the results were encouraging. Several times this semester, the student-publications box in Lockman Hall was empty. Small newspaper stacks in Shears Technology Center, Lockman, Parker Student Union and the Sports Arena were often gone, or, at least, had been shifted around.

The students have done some outstanding work. From the Halloween edition to problems with Student Health Services to the best sports features on Blue Dragon athletes seen in this publication maybe ever, I can’t say enough about how well Merissa Anderson, Emma Cox, “Unfortunate” Brenna Eller, Amanda Carney, Lucas Barlow, Jack Greenwood and Cassidy Crites have done this semester.

I’ve never been in journalism for myself. Compliments, while appreciated, often embarrass me. And rest assured, I’ve heard a ton of compliments this semester, often geared toward me.

I appreciate it. I really do. But The Collegian is not about me. I never want to see my name in this publication again. This publication is by the students, and for the students and entire HutchCC community.

We’re living in interesting times, especially when it comes to journalism. When practiced properly and ethically, it’s one of the most rewarding and noble professions in the world. My hope is to guide students who take my class, and help them practice journalism the right way.

To the students of HutchCC, keep reading the newspaper. Take a journalism class (we have tacos and pizza!). And to the faculty and staff, thank you for welcoming me to your world. I hope you’re as happy with The Collegian as I have been. And please, if you have one of my students in class and you’ve liked what you’ve read and seen, pay them a compliment. They’re the ones who deserve it.

Time for Blue Dragons to go bowling

Friday, December 1st, 2017

By Lucas Barlow
Sports Editor

After four months of football, Hutchinson Community College’s season will end on Saturday, and it’s been a wild one.

As Hutchinson is bowl eligible, the Blue Dragons will get to play one final game of the season. Before Thanksgiving, it was announced that the Blue Dragons will face Eastern Arizona in the Salt City Bowl. This will be coach Rion Rhoades’ seventh Salt City Bowl, and the opponent is a familiar one as they played Eastern Arizona back in 2010.

Rhoades believes it’s going to be a challenging matchup.

“Their offense is hard to get prepared for because it’s so unorthodox, you don’t see it much these days,” he said. “It’s hard to simulate in practice. And on defense, well, everything they’re good at, we struggle with.”

The Gila Monsters run a flexbone offense, a formation that is rare in college football.

Although the Blue Dragons are up against a good team, Rhoades still has a high amount of confidence in his squad

“After Thanksgiving, everyone showed up very engaged in practice. I think they know that we’re facing a good football team. Their hungry and we got something to prove here.”

The Blue Dragons will play the Gila Monsters on home turf. Game time is at 1 p.m. and will be hosted at Gowans Stadium.

In a season where records were broken, comebacks were made and 90 men came together, it’s safe to say this season has been one for the books.

The season started off with a rollercoaster of emotions, as the Blue Dragons came back from 25-point deficit to rallying off one of the most exciting games of the season, winning 50-42 against Coffeyville Community College. This comeback was also the largest in Hutchinson’s 86-year history.

The following week, Hutchinson travel to Iowa to face No. 12 Iowa Western. This matchup was highly anticipated and it proved to be an exciting one. However, the Blue Dragons couldn’t top the Reivers falling 27-21, their first loss of the season.

The Blue Dragons then went on to win their next five games, highlighted a by 91-0 thrashing of Rezolution Prep. During this game, as many as seven team records were broken including, most points in a single game, largest margin of victory and most touchdowns scored. Hutchinson reached its peak national ranking during this time at No. 9. The Blue Dragons also became bowl eligible after their sixth win of the season.

Hard times hit the Blue Dragons the following week. On a cold, wet, homecoming night, their winning streak ended by No. 16 Butler Community College, 38-10.

Next, Hutchinson couldn’t find its footing against Independence Community College as the Blue Dragons fell 24-19. The Blue Dragons made it three straight losses with an upset loss to Fort Scott Community College in the final home game of the regular season.

In the regular-season finale, the Blue Dragons came together to play a solid game against Dodge City Community College. After two special team touchdowns, Hutchinson won 27-6.

Basketball teams have been road warriors so far in conference play

Friday, December 1st, 2017

By Cassidy Crites
Staff writer

For the first month of basketball season, the Hutchinson Community College teams have had anything but a home-court advantage. Out of the Blue Dragons’ first eight conference games, six have been away.

In November, the Sports Arena hosted two different volleyball tournaments. First was the KCAC volleyball tournament. The arena also had the opportunity to host the NJCAA National Volleyball tournament. These events took place over two different weekends, resulting in road games for the basketball squads.

However, there are positives to having so many road games at the beginning of the season. The Blue Dragon teams play four straight home games in the middle of January.

Women’s coach John Ontjes wasn’t fond of playing so many road games but has found the positives in the situation.

“There has been a disadvantage with how many new kids we have on our team not playing at home, but picking up a few road wins now will help when we return the home games in January,” Ontjes said.

Despite all the traveling, both men and women’s Blue Dragon teams are off to a good start. The women post a 6-2 overall record and 4-2 in the conference after Wednesday’s win against Colby. Their two losses have come from Seward County Community College and Cloud County Community College, both on their opponent’s court.

The men are 9-1 overall and 5-1 in the conference. Their one loss came from Cloud County, also at the Thunderdome.

While some athletes feel the effect of not playing on their court, Ontjes does not feel as though it has altered the way the girls play.

“It would’ve been nice to start the conference with two home games, but I don’t think it’s made that big of an impact on the way we played. The kids we have didn’t know the difference,” Ontjes said.

Up next the Blue Dragons hit the road again to face Garden City on Saturday. Hutch rounds out the eight-game start Dec. 6 at Butler.

HutchCC theatre students headed to Iowa for competition

Friday, December 1st, 2017

By Jack Greenwood
Staff writer

Winter break is coming up, which means most students will use that time to detox from the stresses of the semester and spend time with family. However, a handful of students from Hutchinson Community College’s theatre department will be finding scripts, rehearsing scenes, preparing portfolios and presentations and perfecting performance pieces.

In January, four students will be competing for the prestigious Irene Ryan Scholarship at the region give American College Theatre Festival. The festival is an opportunity for theatre majors to be submerged in their craft and work on improving through workshops and competitions.

To compete for the scholarship, the productions that HutchCC put on had to be entered and judged. A judge would then choose two of the actors to compete, whom he felt exceeded performance quality. For their performances in the September’s “Gruesome Playground Injuries,” students Jack Greenwood, Valley Center, and Gabby Hernandez, Hutchinson, will compete. They are joined by nominees from the November production of “The Importance of Being Earnest” Jocelyn Reed, Hutchinson, and Isaac Glover, Hutchinson.

In addition to acting, students also can also explore stage makeup, costumes, playwriting, directing, stage managing, set design, dance, lighting and sound design.

Greenwood will be competing in the acting competition but has also written a 10-minute play that has been submitted for consideration for scholarship, and will possibly receive a staged concert reading.

Reed will be competing in acting and stage managing.

“It’s an honor to be representing a college that really values the success of its students and understands the importance of live theatre,” Reed said. “Theatre can expose people to different walks of life and social issues. It teaches us how to be empathetic to the plights of those different from us.”

Each acting nominee will take a partner to act with them in the competition. Partners include Dylan Kramer, McPherson, who will be Greenwood’s partner, Hannah Gomez, Hutchinson, who will be Glover’s partner, Lauren Couchman, Newton, who will be Reed’s partner and Alex Acosta, Hutchinson, who will be Hernandez’s partner.

“It’s an exciting to have this opportunity, I’m thankful,” Acosta said.

“I’m excited to get to do the workshops and to make connections,” Couchman said. “I’m also really excited to compete with Jocelyn in the Irene Ryan competition, it will be interesting to see how far we get.”

The festival also an opportunity to make professional and school connections. HutchCC students fall into region five, which consists of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. Most four-year colleges will be represented at the festival and have recruitment opportunities for students.
The festival also attracts theatre professionals from across the country, including Broadway. This year, famed playwright Neil Labute will be a part of the festival.

Some schools also enter their shows to be transferred to festival and will be performed again in Des Moines.

“Last year, the festival gave me the opportunity to bond with the people who are now my best friends, so I’m excited to see how the new students enjoy it,” Hernandez said. “It also helped me realize that I want to be involved in theatre for the rest of my life.”

Spreading kindness around campus

Friday, December 1st, 2017

By Emma Cox
Campus Editor

The simplest things in life can make someone’s horrible day into an amazing day.

There has been a ‘Kindness Card’ making its way around the Hutchinson Community College campus, lifting students and faculty spirits.

Sophomore Alicia Snyder came across this card in Stringer Fine Arts Center on a seating bench. “I had saw the card and wondered who had left something behind, or whose it was, so I looked at it and I saw it said ‘To whoever picks this up’ so I took it,'” Snyder said. “It made my day so much, and not only that, but it made me want to do something like it as well.”

The contents of the card are not to be revealed unless you find the card yourself, but Snyder loves the idea of it.

“The idea of kindness is something I try to stick to,” Snyder said. “If you do something nice it makes others want to do something nice as well. Just like the pay it forward movement.”

It’s not hard to be a kind person and make someone’s day. Simply giving someone a compliment like, ‘You look nice today.’ or even holding the door open for someone, can put a smile on their face.

“Kindness is something everyone should practice. Kindness is infectious and we should spread it.” Snyder said.

Whenever you get the chance, spread your kindness in any way possible to make someone’s and possibly your own.

Alumnus of HutchCC now in Kansas House of Representatives

Friday, December 1st, 2017

By Amanda Carney
Online Editor

It all started in early June when Patsy Terrell died. Kansas District 102 in the House of Representatives no longer had a representative. Jason Probst then stepped up and took on a whole new role. Probst became the new representative of the Kansas District 102 in the House of Representatives in June.

Probst had a lot to learn before the legislative session began.

A Reno County native, Probst attended Nickerson High School and later attended Hutchinson Community College.

“HCC provided me with a better education than any other school I have attended,” Probst said. “I had professors who believed in me, invested time and energy in me and made me feel like I had something valuable to contribute to the world,”

At age 19 he was expecting his first kid, a daughter, Erica. He later had a son, Mitchell, who is a current HutchCC student. Probst knows all about hard work and providing for a family.
Probst was long-time journalist and opinion writer at The Hutchinson News before becoming a politician.

Amanda Carney: How do you get more you people interested in voting, especially in non-presidential elections?

Jason Probst: This has been a difficult challenge. Voters seem to get excited about presidential campaigns, when in truth those local elections – city council, school board, state representatives – have a much more direct affect on voters’ lives. My approach is to help people understand how important these elections are to them, and how much more weight their vote carries in local elections. There have been elections here in Hutchinson that have been decided by fewer than a dozen votes.

AC: What can improve the relationship between politicians and the media?

JP: I think there needs to be some effort on both ends to make the relationship less adversarial. The relationship between the media and politicians is like any relationship – it needs to be fair and mutually respectful, and it requires nurturing from both sides. In this position, I will make mistakes. I am certain I’ll do something, or support something, unpopular. I’d hope that’s not the only time I hear from the media, because I feel like I’m doing a lot of positive work as well – much of which will likely go unreported. On the other side of things, politicians need to fairly recognize that journalists have a duty to keep the public informed, and that they’re simply doing their job, which is also very important to a free society.

AC: How important is it to fund public education?

JP: It’s vitally important to fund education. If we don’t properly educate and invest in the next generation of producers, business owners, leaders, caregivers and workers, we are asking for trouble in the future. We need to have honest, and difficult, conversations about what that education looks like going forward and how to balance those costs with all the other demands on taxpayers, but there should never be any question that education is an investment in the sort of future we hope to see – and we’ll most likely get what we pay for.

AC: What challenges do you you face being a rookie politician?

JP: There is a steep learning curve, that reaches into a variety of areas. I’ve had to consume a great deal of information from a number of people who have expertise in different professions. I’ve had to learn how to manage a very intense schedule – one that includes attending public events, reaching out to constituents, meeting with people who work in state government, and other community leaders who can talk to me about what’s going on in our community. Also, since being a legislator is considered a part time gig, and the pay matches, I’ve had to put a lot of effort into finding various contract jobs to provide some income to pay my bills. But I never expected it would be easy, particularly if it’s to be done the way I think it ought to be done.

AC: What shaped your political views?

JP: My life. I grew up relatively poor. Neither of my parents graduated high school, so the idea of going to college was a foreign idea in our household. By 19, I was about to be a father. I worked in a restaurant and made very little money.

I didn’t have health insurance. I worked like crazy to make enough money for my young family, and we often didn’t have enough. I worked jobs I didn’t like. I sometimes worked two jobs I didn’t like.

In those early days, we relied on public assistance to get by, to provide food and health care for my child. But over time, things got better. I attended college in the evenings, and worked my way into a better career.
Over the years, I feel I’ve more than repaid the help I received early on – and that early investment in my family likely changed the course of my life, and the lives of my children in a positive way. All of those experiences shaped the way I see the world.

I know firsthand how difficult it can be to keep your head above water, and I know how hopeless it can feel when year after year all you’re doing is working to survive. I’d like to help people have better opportunities to thrive, and create ways for more people to find more wealth.

This, I think, is what creates a more robust economy in which we all can participate and prosper.