Brace Yourself

Bob Jensen
Bob Jensen

Whenever I think back to that night, I wish so much it had happened 10 years later. Maybe 20. That way I’d appreciate it more.
As it was, on that cold November night back in 1989, I had only lived in Central City for a little over two months when the undefeated Bison football team hosted arch rival Aurora in the first round of the Class B playoffs. Look man, I was new in town but I wasn’t dead, it was pretty hard not to get swept up in all the excitement, my new friends around town riding a serious pigskin high.
Until that night Central City had played a grand total of four playoff games. Granted, two of them had been the year prior, and the Bison had even won one, but the program – and the locals – were still newbies regarding this whole playoff thing. All both, or all, of them knew was, Aurora was coming to town.
Central City had beaten Aurora earlier that regular season and given the recent history of both programs, well, folks around here were plenty nervous about the Huskies pulling into town. Wouldn’t be much of a story if Central City didn’t win – it did, improving to 10-0 – and that night I witnessed the largest crowd I’ve seen at any Central City event, most of it losing its mind in the afterglow of sweet victory.
The 2015 version of the Bison will have a chance to wake up the echoes of that night so long ago, hosting Broken Bow this Friday night in the first round of the Class C-1 playoffs. It is the first time since 1989 Central City High School will host a state playoff football game and I would expect the stands at ol’ Bison Field will be packed with the type of crowd only usually reserved for receiving heads of state or maybe getting the Beatles back together.
Football is a fun game and this Bison team has been as much fun to follow as any in my 26 years in town. It’s not just that the Bison are winning, it’s how they are winning, scoring lots of points, coming back to win, generally thrilling the local sports fan. Another great part of this team is its large senior class – 18 boys or so, if memory serves – kids who have stuck with the game and now here is their payoff.
According to Mr. Obvious, the question of the day is, can the Bison win the game? Sure they can. They are the better team, if you ask my opinion. (Not sure you did, but there it is.) I say that not because of all the wide open offense that seems to mark every Bison game but more the depth of contribution on the 2015 Bison football team. Players like seniors Taylor Beck and junior Vincent Ohlman are poster boys for what being a playmaker is all about and they are the type of players who, along with their teammates, are going to make the Bison awfully tough to beat on Friday night.
And beyond the game, you ask? If you are at the game you are surely going to be a part of a engergized, electric atmosphere, the kind that comes from a blend of confidence and doubt. Win or lose this has been a great season for the Bison but, I mean really, what fun would it be to lose? Go Bison, go ahead and win.
* I want to take time to thank all the sponsors who helped support the Bison playoff game preview on the front page of the sports. We wanted to create a keepsake for fans, players and coaches, and believe we accomplished that, all of us together.
On the second page of sports you will find a full page “Go Bison” poster that you can take to the game and thrust into the air after every big Central City play. Hopefully, your arms get tired.

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