March 24th, 2019
Liberal Local News

Niemann returning to Liberal for fundraiser concert

niemann national guardCourtesy photoROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times


Liberal’s own country music star, Jerrod Niemann, is coming back to his own hometown, and he is taking it back to his roots with a new tour.

Niemann will be at the Seward County Activity Center April 5, and since his last visit to Liberal, he has been busy with a new album and a new song which puts his patriotism proudly on display.

Niemann talked about what inspired him to write “Old Glory.”

“I had the great honor of going overseas a couple times with the USO and playing for our troops,” he said. “After the first year I went, it truly was a life-changing experience just being a fly on the wall with our brave men and women and action. I got asked the next year to go back over the holidays at Christmas and was excited to do so. A month or two before we left, I was just kind of fumbling around on the guitar on the couch and watching the news, and some of our guys got ambushed in Niger. I just thought of all those young men and women I had met the year before, and just picturing them in that position really just it all came to a head and hit me like a ton of bricks.”

Niemann said this is when the lyrics to the song began pouring out, and before he knew it, the tune was written.

“It’s from the perspective of a soldier,” he said. “I’m not in the military, just a big fan. I held on to it until I had the chance to go back overseas because I wanted them to approve it before I came home and played it for my fellow civilians. It had an amazing reaction overseas, and the song is my favorite I’ve ever written. It’s just something I’m really proud to be the messenger for.”

The Liberal stop will be part of Niemann’s “Tall Boys and Short Stories” tour, and he explained the inspiration for the name of the tour.

“Anytime you sit around with your buddies and reminisce, whether it’s around the living room or a campfire or a tailgate, you just kind of tell a bunch old stories and pass around the guitar,” he said. “The nucleus of country music can really be described in those moments, for me at least in the storytelling side. I wanted to bring that feeling from the experience to the stage and to everybody in the crowd, an intement setting where you can just kind of feel like you’re shooting the breeze with new friends and old friends. I call it ‘Tall Boys and Short Stories’ because songs really are short stories, and a lot of people have been known to crack a cold beer whenever they’re hanging with their friends and cutting up and reminiscing.”

ELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


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L&T file photo/Elly GrimmELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


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Lady Redskins move to 2-0 with 1-0 win over Classical

soccercutoutBy EARL WATT

Leader & Times

Last year, the Lady Redskins knocked off Wichita Classical in a 10-0 mercy rule win.

This year, they faced a much different squad and came away with a 1-0 win.

“They have very good and tall players,” Liberal coach Carlo Ruiz said. “The coaches knew us form last year and double-teamed Kim (Alarcon) all game.

Alarcon scored the game’s only goal with just 13 seconds to play in the first half after she received a pass from freshman Jaqueline Hernandez.

Liberal had 11 shots on goal while Classical only had six.

The Lady Redskins (2-0) will move on to the Titan Classic next week and will play Wichita East (1-0) who started its season with a 1-0 win over Goddard.

After the Titan Classic, the Lady Redskins will remain on the road when they travel to Great Bend April 2 and then on to Hays April 4.

The Lady Redskins will not play at Redskins Field until the host Great Bend April 11.

Other Interests

Reaching a region on handshakes

GUEST COLUMN, Walter V. Wendler, President of West Texas A&M


The majority of college recruiting in the United States is focused on urban and suburban high schools. On the surface, given that approximately 80% of the U.S. population resides in metropolitan regions, it seems a plausible approach. However, the 20% of the rural residents of our state and nation likewise warrant attention from good universities. The argument against rural recruiting is simply that small populations provide little return on recruiting investment.

Undeveloped human potential makes for rotten business. And it stinks. 

Students in small communities have aspirations like their metropolitan brethren. Dwight Eisenhower hailed from Abilene, Kansas, population 3,500. He had aspirations. As supreme commander of the Allied Forces, he helped save the world from a crazed despot. As president of Columbia University, he led a great academic institution addressing challenges of post-war America. As President of the United States, he initiated important projects—the interstate highway system for example—all from Abilene, Kansas. His brother Milton served as president of Kansas State University and helped racially integrate the Big Eight Athletic Conference. As President of Penn State University, he was revered by students, and as President of Johns Hopkins University, the endowment doubled and the operating budget tripled. Not bad for a couple of small town boys. Hicks by some standards.

Universities need to find ways to reach out to students from small widely-dispersed communities. Human potential resides there. At West Texas A&M University we have initiated the WT Principal’s Scholars program. This program allows principals from the 66 high schools in the top 26 counties of Texas to identify up to five students who would benefit by attending West Texas A&M University. Those students will be admitted on the word of the principal alone. No forms. No processes. Rather, a principal levying judgement based on experience. A handshake. Application fees will be waived, time-to-admissions decisions based on 12 years of performance will be reduced from weeks to a split second through empirical evidence. Consideration for every available scholarship will be guaranteed. 

What is lost in metropolitan schools is a personal relationship between teachers, leaders, students and families. The principals of smaller districts typically know their students, making them appropriately prepared adjudicators of admissions. In the Texas Panhandle, many districts enroll as few as 150 students, PreK-12. Principals and teachers know these students and their families.