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Stafford Football versus Otis-Bison 9-14-18

The third week of the football season saw an undefeated Stafford Trojans travel to face the Otis-Bison Cougars. The Cougars entered the game with a 500 record of 1 and 1.

Homecoming festivities kicked the night off. After the crowning, both teams took to the field for the game.

The game started slowly, but Otis-Bison then took over after eight minutes of gameplay. The Cougars would go on to lead 38 to 0 at halftime. Stafford managed to lengthen out the game to a couple of minutes into the fourth quarter before Otis-Bison ended the contest with a score of 50 to 0.

Below are some of the pictures I took at the game:

A Father Hugs His Son

Capturing a Father’s Pride

When you shoot sports, the action is front and center. Sports photographers call the pinnacle moment of a play “peak action.” Yet, one of the most powerful things you can capture is emotion.

The emotion of winning or losing a game. The emotion of cheering on a teammate or showing the frustration from a mistake.

Then there is the emotion from the end of a competition.

After the final horn or whistle sounds and the two sides of the athletic event shook hands, parents, classmates, friends and other fans will stream onto the field of play. Many times a player will be greeted with handshakes and pats on the back (or pads if it’s football).

This time presents ample opportunities to capture emotional greetings. Especially if the game held importance to one or both sides.

On November 6, 2010, the Otis-Bison Cougars made the long trip to Bird City for an Eight-Man Division II Regional Match against the Cheylin Cougars. The afternoon football game saw Otis-Bison continue on their winning ways with a 51 to 6 victory. The victory was their tenth straight game that ended due to the 45-point mercy rule.

It also meant the Cougars would play in the Sub-State game the next week for the first time since 1992.

To say it was a significant win for the team would be an understatement.

After the final whistle, as happened in all the previous weeks, the fans, friends, and family greeted the players on the field. I switched lenses on my camera to my wide-angle 18-55mm kit lens from my standard 70-200m. This allowed me to get closer to people and capture some of the emotion of the moment.

One I gladly captured occurred between Otis-Bison’s star running back/linebacker Michael Hlavaty and his father Mark.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Mark closing in on his son. It was not hard to see how proud he was of his boy and the performance he just gave on the field. He closed the distance and embraced his son, pads and all, tightly.

A Father Hugs His Son
Mark Hlavaty hugs his son Michael after the Otis-Bison Cougars defeated the Cheylin Cougars 51-6 in the Eight-Man Division II Regional game on November 10, 2010 at Cheylin High School in Bird City, Kansas (Photo Credit Joey Bahr, joeybahr.com)

I snapped away as I moved from one side to the other. Of the few frames I quickly looked at on the back of my camera, I knew I captured a special moment between a father and son.

Otis-Bison would go on and win the Sub-State game but lost in the State Championship game. The 2010 team provided the Cougars their second banner, both for Eight Man Runner Ups.

I decided to take this photo and make something special out of it by printing it large and framing it and gave it to Mark for Christmas. I know this would be something he would enjoy having as a reminder of that great day and moment.

2018 Hoisington Winter Jam Otis-Bison Cougars vs Ellsworth Bearcats 1-20-19

The Boys Third Place game in the 2018 Hoisington Winter Jam saw the Otis-Bison Cougars facing off with the Ellsworth Bearcats.

Ellsworth built a lead in the first half of 11 points by the break. In the second half, the Cougars tried to close the gap, but failed to make up enough ground. The Bearcats won the game and Third Place in the tournament with a 58 to 37 score.

Below are some of the pictures I took at the game:

Click here to purchase prints or downloads of these pictures.

Click here to purchase prints or downloads of these pictures.

2018 Hoisington Winter Jam Otis-Bison Cougars vs Hoisington Cardinals 1-19-18

The last game for the fourth day meant one last spot for the Boys Championship game for the 2018 Hoisington Winter Jam. The Otis-Bison Cougars faced off against the hosting Hoisington Cardinals.

Hoisington came into the game with a plan to limit the scoring threats of the Cougars. They took way many opportunities for Clade Anderson and left the work on the shoulders of Maitland Wiltse. Wiltse accounted for almost half of Otis-Bison’s 46 points, but the Cardinals totaled 58 on the night.

The win means the Cardinals will play for a chance to be Hoisington Winter Jam Champions for a third straight year.

Below are some of the pictures I took at the game:

Click here to purchase prints or downloads of these pictures.

Click here to purchase prints or downloads of these pictures.

Otis-Bison Football vs St. John 9-1-17

The start of a new season presents a team with a clean slate to the year. Walking onto the field for the first time, both sides are 0-0. The question that hands over the field is what’s going to happen when the whistle blows and a foot connects with a football for the first time?

The Otis-Bison Cougars traveled to face the St. John Tigers for the season opener. Both teams came into the game with short rosters. The Cougars suited up only fourteen players, the Tigers nine.

The Cougars quickly piled up the points on the board with only three plays from scrimmage and two pick sixes that made the score 20 to 0 with only six minutes and change remaining in the first quarter. St. John did control the clock and were able to move the ball some, but they failed to truly threaten to score.

By the end of the first half, the Cougars registered 58 points on the board to the Tigers 0. The game ended at halftime due to the 45-point rule.

Below are some of the pictures I took at the game:

Click here to purchase prints or downloads of these pictures.

Click here to purchase prints or downloads of these pictures.

2017 Hoisington Winter Jam Hoisington Boys vs Otis-Bison 1-20-17

Going into the night with a perfect record, the Otis-Bison Cougars took on the host Hoisington Cardinals in the 2017 Hoisington Winter Jam Boys Semi-Final.

Both teams held the other in check for a total of 16 points for the first quarter. The defensive struggle continued on to Halftime with a 19 to 17 score in favor of the Cardinals.

Then in the third quarter, Hoisington took off on a ten point run and never looked back. They handed Otis-Bison their first loss of the season with a final score of 56 to 39.

Below are some of the pictures I took at the game:

Click here to purchase prints or downloads of these pictures.

Click here to purchase prints or downloads of these pictures.

Greeley County Football vs Otis-Bison 10-7-16

For Eight Man football, this is their second week in District play. The Greeley County Jackrabbits traveled to face the Otis-Bison Cougars.

The Jackrabbits won the coin toss and took the ball. The Otis-Bison Defense quickly asserted itself and combined with a potent, multi-threat Offense, the Cougars won 62 to 6.

Below are some of the pictures I took at the game:

Click here to purchase prints or downloads of these pictures.

Click here to purchase prints or downloads of these pictures.

Salina South versus Great Bend Football 10-31-14

The regular season for Football drew to a close with the annual meeting of the Salina South Cougars and the Great Bend Panthers.

Both teams entered the game with a chance to make it into the Class 5A playoffs. The First Half was a slow affair with both teams not able to add points on to the scoreboard. With three minutes to go, Salina South scored a touchdown but missed the extra point. Great Bend quickly answered with seven points right at the end of the Half.

Great Bend extended their lead right after Halftime, and both teams traded scores until the Forth Quarter when Salina South pulled away to win with a score of 35 to 21.

Salina South will go to the playoffs next Friday night. Great Bend finishes the year with a 3-6 record.

Below are some of the pictures I took at the game:

Click here to purchase prints or downloads of these pictures.

Click here to purchase prints or downloads of these pictures.

Kinsley vs Otis-Bison Football 9-26-14

Week Four of High School Football saw a score occur that no one expected. Otis-Bison hosted their Homecomming Game by matching up with Central Prairie League rival the Kinsley Coyotes in an Eight Man Football game.

Over the years, Eight Man football has put up some large scores in part to having three fewer players on the field per side and twenty less yards. The amount of scoring led the Kansas High School Activities Association to start a 45 point Mercy Rule over 20 years ago. (Meaning if a team gets out to a lead of at least 45 points after playing one full half, the game would be over at that point.) In recent years, some teams have really opened up play with Spread style offenses and other more exotic ways of generating yards and points.

This was an old-fashioned Eight Man game with two running backs running all over the field. Otis-Bison’s Brad Lightfoot and Kinsley’s Tyler Espinosa literally lit up the score board. Lightfoot ended the night with 10 touchdowns and 415 all-purpose yards.

If one team scored, the other would respond. Otis-Bison was able to build a lead and hold on to it through out the game after the first quarter. Kinsley would punch back with a score, many times thanks to Espinosa’s ability to run and evade, and keep things close enough where the Mercy Rule would not come into play.

The final score, which set a new State record for combined scoring in an Eight Man game, was Otis-Bison 104 Kinsley 70. (Kinda beats the 3-0 game I went to last week.)

Below are some of the pictures I took at the game:

Click here to purchase prints or downloads of these pictures.