If you have lived in Childress long enough, you know that there are some die-hard CHS Bobcats fans out there. Some are fans because they have a son, daughter, grandchild, or some other relative playing for the team. Some are fans simply because there is a talented team on the field or court that particular year and the proverbial "bandwagon" becomes a little overloaded. Others are fans simply because it is convenient at the time and after a few seasons the new begins to wear off because it's just not as exciting as it used to be. None of these is type of fan I am writing about here.
I'm referring to those people who are true fans. They are rooting for the Bobcats and Lady Cats year-in and year-out. It doesn't matter which sport is being played or what record the team has. It doesn't matter if they know all of the kids on the field or none of the kids on the field. It doesn't matter if the team has exceptional talent and achieves great success or if they just don't quite have the skill or heart to be one of those teams that gets the job done. These people are fans because they love the game no matter what.
We may all have our own ideas of who the greatest fan is but in my eyes there is no bigger Bobcat fan than Herold Kitchens. You may think that I am biased because he is Melissa's grandfather but anyone who really knows him knows that for more years that I have even seen in this life Kitchens has supported the Bobcats through thick and thin.
He spent many of those years as "the voice of the Bobcats" traveling to almost every stadium and gymnasium in the panhandle and beyond. In the freezing cold, in the pouring rain, and even in the smouldering heat he was there pulling for the 'Cats to bring home the win. After he ended his broadcast career he continued attending every home game and almost every away game as long as his health allowed and when his health began to fail him he listened faithfully on the radio to every Bobcat sporting event that was broadcast.
Now, his time left here with us is short. Even so, he laid in his hospital bed Tuesday night and listened to the Bobcat basketball team pull out a tight one. He's truly a Bobcat fan to the very end. Not many people can say that. Over the next few days as he passes from this life we will say "goodbye" to a man we love dearly and the Bobcats will say "goodbye" to their greatest fan.
8 years ago