'Amazing' week for Hays High student
By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN
To say the past few days have been a whirlwind for Jordan Windholz is an understatement.
In just his second game back on the field following major knee surgery in March, the Hays High School senior scored two goals in leading the Indian boys' soccer team to a 3-1 road victory over Buhler on a windy day Thursday afternoon.
Lightning struck again Friday, literally.
After the start of the Hays High homecoming football game was postponed for half an hour because of lightning, Windholz was crowned homecoming king at halftime along with queen Wendy Zimmerman, who coincidentally already were paired up in the royalty lineup.
The king and queen didn't get to reign over the second half as they normally do, however, because the second half of the game was suspended, then eventually called off altogether, because of lightning.
But Windholz said they still got to talk to lots of people as fans gathered below the grandstands on the west side of Lewis Field Stadium to wait out the storm.
Windholz, who said he was shocked even to be chosen as a homecoming candidate, said it's been a week he won't soon forget, starting with Tuesday's home soccer game against Great Bend, his first action since his surgery.
"That was pretty emotional, just getting back out there," said Windholz, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during basketball season in February and had surgery six weeks later. "My first game, just getting the feel for it Tuesday, then Thursday -- that was amazing."
Little did Windholz know his week would get even better. He couldn't even think of a word to describe the feeling when he was announced as king.
"I still don't know what to say about all this," Windholz said Saturday morning. "Our (senior) class picks the candidates, so it was a really good feeling to have your class vote you in. And there were four other guys who are great guys and could have gotten (king). It's an amazing feeling. I'm so grateful. I'm really blessed."
Numerous Hays High classes scheduled reunions for Friday and Saturday, with several riding on floats in Friday afternoon's homecoming parade.
The class of 1993, celebrating its 20th reunion, released balloons in memory of one of their classmates, Darren Haynes who died in his sleep of an undetected heart problem last month in Hays.
The balloons numbered 39 in all, in honor of Haynes, a flight paramedic registered nurse whose 39th birthday would have been Thursday.
There were four white balloons, representing Haynes, his wife, Chrissy, and their two daughters, Reghan and Briley. The other 35 balloons were Hays High's signature maroon and gold colors.
Haynes' class released the balloons while traveling down Main Street, the white ones first, between 10th and 11th Streets, where his family was watching the parade.
"The maroon and gold ones were supposed to represent our class," said Tami (Jantz) Rummel, a classmate of Haynes.
"Let the white ones go first to represent Darren and his family, and our class surrounding him and his family in prayers and support."