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Life Lessons from Midland College and Southern Idaho Basketball.

Some of you may know that every year for the last 6 years I have been a "Team Host" for one of the 16 teams that makes it to my hometown of Hutchinson, Ks for the NJCCA Division 1 Basketball finals.

Over the last 6 years I have had some great teams.

The two that really stick in my mind are College of Southern Idaho (I had them in 2007) and Midland College who I just had this past week.

CSI in 2007 was a great experience. Head Coach Barret Peery had a great bunch of guys and I really kinda hit off it with Asst. Coach Steve Gosar. Coach Gosar and I stayed in touch over facebook and texts for the last 4 years and I was truly excited for him when he got promoted to the Head Coaches job in 2008 when Coach Peery moved on to Utah.

So about 2 weeks ago I find out I have Midland College this year (it's on a rotation, the team hosts don't pick who we want, we get assigned a region and we get the team from that region.) Honestly I was excited... Midland College has a ton of tradition, been in Hutchinson a ton of times in the past and I was thrilled to have them.

2 nights later I get a text from Coach Gosar in Idaho.

"Hey we are coming to Hutch!!! You gonna be our host?"

So that's a wierd feeling to get that text from someone you now consider a friend.

First, I am stoked as hell for Coach and his team, then I am a little down that I won't be there host.

I text back "Congrats... that's awesome, i wont be your host, but happy for you."

That could have kinda been the end of it.

Except then the Boys from Midland College arrive.

Coach Ross Hodge and the rest of the team are a first class operation.

He's a leader in the truest sense, his players relate to him and want to play hard for him, but at the same time respect his authority and know how to act.

In 4 short days I grew to become a huge fan of Midland College's 2010-2011 Basketball team.

To wrap this up... Saturday night College of Southern Idaho beat Midland College in a great basketball game for the National Championship in Junior College athletics.

There were probably only 4 people of the several thousand in that gym feeling like I did. The 4 people that live in my house. When we watched Steve Gosar and the Golden Eagles rush the floor to celebrate their victory, we couldn't have been anymore excited for a good friend and a quality basketball program, when we looked back at the bench from Midland College and saw the sadness our whole family couldn't have hurt any worse for a friend that was on the other end of the score.

Honestly it was a weird feeling, I never wanted a tie in Basketball so bad in my life.

Since 2007 my little boy has worn around a College of Southern Idaho t-shirt and been proud to be a Golden Eagle basketball fan. He had only seen them play 4 basketball games ever, but they treated him fair and decent and he will be a fan for life. Saturday night he went into the Midland locker room and saw how classy young men and coaches handle it when things don't go your way, he saw how real men should act, even when your on the wrong end of the scoreboard.

I am gonna have keep him equipped in Midland College gear as well as College of Southern Idaho gear for a long time now.

Congrats to Coach Gosar and College of Southern Idaho.

Congrats as well to Coach Hodge and Midland College, I know you guys still aren't in the frame of mind to be proud of "National Runner Up" but someday you will be, and you can be incredibly proud of the team and individuals that your are right now.

Thanks for letting me be a part of it!!


  1. It was quite a night... great game and so much effort from both teams. From a grandma's view point, the high point of the night was when my 11 year old grandson came out of the locker room door, walked down the Arena hall, through the crowd of people waiting for the Midland team, carrying that treasured picture, and I could tell his heart was broken for that team that wanted the championship so bad. Tears came to my eyes as I thought it would be a great picture - his great dad was right beside him and I knew the little guy had learned a "life lesson" - maybe more than one, ones he would never forget. Losing is hard, it's okay to cry - even at 19 or 20 years old when you worked for something so hard and didn't quite reach the goal you wanted. I was so proud of him... as I am of their whole family - I knew they would talk this over and they will be right back in there next year supporting a team with the "whole Heitschmidt spirit".

  2. Thanks for your wonderful words about Midland College. We are so proud of these young men that represent our community in such an outstanding manner!

  3. Cody on behalf of the Men's Basketball team at Midland College, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts, for you and your family making us feel right at home in Hutchinson Kansas. You took care of our every needs, and for that we are so grateful and appreciative. Even though the outcome did not go the way we wanted, we meet a new Chap family that will be dear to our hearts forever, we having a saying in our department, "Once a Chap always a Chap." Cody you and your family will always be a Chap. Thank you once again from the bottom of our hearts. Tell your son I hope to see him someday playing on TV for KU.

    Jamaal Greene
    Asst Men's Basketball Coach
    Midland College

  4. Jacque, Coach Greene,

    It really was my pleasure, Great players, great staff, great fans.

    As a kid from Hutch that loves that tournament, You kinda grow up wanting to make Midland into the bad green monster, (which is a tribute to your guys long-term success) its so much fun for me to get to know everyone on a personal level.

  5. I am associated with CSI as a parent and would also like to pay tribute to Midland. There is no second place. I know that is a cliche of sorts, but it is true. All these young men are winners.


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