Bill Faflick throws an overstuffed satchel over his shoulder and leaves his office at 4:55 p.m. The man in charge of City League athletics the past 11 years will be at four high schools in 4½ hours.
Let’s get in the Honda Civic and ride along.
North at Northwest, 5:20 p.m. — Faflick wants to be at Northwest first to hear the lead referee’s pregame talk with his other officials. They dress in a training room far from the gym, going over communication and things to watch for.
After greetings with the coaches, Faflick assumes his normal position — against the gym wall, out of the way. He’s watching the officials, but also keeping an eye on coaches and their sideline demeanor.
Northwest bolts to a 20-4 lead, and Faflick bolts, too.
Southeast at Carroll, 6:35 — It’s halftime of the girls game at the league’s newest gym, giving Faflick an opportunity to visit with the officials. They have news.
They ejected a fan. Really. A woman sitting near the bottom of the stands, they said, threatened one of the officials. The ref stopped the game, called over an administrator and the fan was ejected.
The refs laughed it off. Faflick is somewhat amazed.
As Carroll builds a lead, Faflick makes his way upstairs to glad-hand Southeast administrators and security. Southeast is Faflick’s alma mater and where he first taught after college. He doesn’t play favorites, he stresses.
Carroll wins 60-47, and it’s all interstate to Heights.
Kapaun at Heights, 7:50 _ It’s as if the stars are aligned. The game hasn’t started, so Faflick hasn’t missed a second of action. A quick meeting with the officials is followed by a tight first half.
Faflick spends much of it talking with Heights girls coach Kip Pulliam, whose team just won 77-40. They talk about differences in officiating throughout the state and in Arkansas, where the Falcons played in December.
At halftime, the officials ask Faflick about moving the scorer’s table back from the court. It’s inches away from the sideline.
“That’ll be fixed in two years,” Faflick says, starting a discussion of the league’s new gyms coming in the next few years after passage of the 2008 bond issue.
South at East, 9 p.m. _ Probably the lightest attendance of the night, East has overcome a 17-4 deficit by the time Faflick arrives. He finds one of many empty seats behind the scorer’s table, where he hears this exchange after an East foul.
East coach Ron Allen: “Was that call predetermined?”
Allen: “Are you sure?”
Allen (soft enough only for Faflick and the folks at the table): “I’ve got some glasses over here if you need them.”
Thankfully, everyone laughs.
After East’s 62-49 victory, Faflick’s son, East freshman and pep-band trumpeter Jake, finds his dad for the ride home. Faflick meets an Independence Community College assistant who tells him Indy is
having an “OK” season. “You need more Wichita kids,” Faflick cajoles.
Then it’s out a side exit and home. All in all, Faflick says, an uneventful night.
— Kirk Seminoff