BY ANDY TAYLOR
COFFEYVILLE — Field Kindley High School head football coach Murray Zogg had a pressing day on Monday — trying to prepare his troops for this Saturday’s class 4A state championship game while also trying to sneak in a day or so of family time for Thanksgiving — before the corner of his eye caught a slight sparkle from the FKHS trophy case as he walked through the school hallway.
The glimmer from the trophy case grabbed his attention, which is something he had not thought about since his team won a berth to the class 4A state championship game almost 72 hours earlier.
“I think we need to move some trophies around,” he said with a slight chuckle under his breath, his arms upraised making circular motions, as if to mimic the movement of trophies from one cluttered corner of the awards case to another.
Zogg was having fun with his plans to add trophies to the already-crowded confines of the FKHS trophy case. But, there was a hint of truth to his words.
Field Kindley isn’t just blowing the dust off the archives of yesteryear’s glory days but adding the biggest chapter’s in the school history by competing in this Saturday’s class 4A state championship football game. Zogg’s Golden Tornado team will face the Buhler Crusaders in the class 4A state title in Salina, Kan., this Saturday, Nov. 30; kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
The Golden Torando advanced to the state title game after defeating the Paola Panthers, 36-15, in the class 4A sub-state game in Paola last Friday. That game rendered Zogg and Company their fifth state playoff trophy of the 2013 season. Field Kindley is guaranteed its sixth trophy of the post-season at Saturday’s state championships. Whether that sixth trophy will carry a golden shine or a silver tone won’t be known until Saturday afternoon. However, Zogg said his team is making the most of a state championship experience this week.
“The kids are living it up,” he said. “The state playoffs have been an incredible ride so far, and it’s not over yet. There are 64 teams in class 4A, and I know there are 62 teams that wish they could be playing on Saturday. We’re certainly fortunate to be among the last two teams in Kansas to be playing for a state championship.”
Field Kindley is making its first-ever appearance in a state championship contest while Buhler has made that trip only one time, which was back in 1990 when the Crusaders lost to Pittsburg for the class 5A state title.
Buhler got to the state championship game by beating the Holton Wildcats, the number one-ranked team in class 4A, 28-14, in Buhler on Friday. Previous to the Holton victory, Buhler took out Topeka-Hayden, 27-18; defeated Abilene, 56-22; and slipped past Ulysses, 14-7.
The Golden Tornado team is expected to leave Coffeyville on noon Friday, Nov. 29 and have a walk-through at the Salina District Stadium late Friday afternoon. Prior to their departure from the FKHS Campus, the Golden Tornado will be given a brief — albeit celebratory — sendoff from FKHS fans and parents.