Happy Thanksgiving, K-Staters!

Four K-State teams have competitions this week, so while today will be a day off for most of them - with the exception of women's basketball, which plays LSU tonight - the holiday is still celebrated differently than most are used to. 
While the K-State men's and women's basketball teams are basking up the sunshine this Thanksgiving in Maui, Hawaii, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, respectively, K-State football and volleyball are in Manhattan, Kansas, preparing for home competitions on Saturday.
Coming off of a 3-1 (24-26, 26-24, 25-20, 25-23) loss at Oklahoma last night, volleyball will return to action on Saturday evening with a match against West Virginia at 8 p.m. Though it's a quick turnaround between traveling to Oklahoma and playing on Saturday, head coach Suzie Fritz gives her team the day off for Thanksgiving. 
The team said those who live close enough to travel home for the day usually do, however, those from out of state - like freshman Kylee Zumach from Buffalo, Minnesota - make other plans. 
"My parents are coming down on Wednesday night right after work, so they're going to be down here with me," Zumach said about her holiday plans. "I think a bunch of us girls are going over to Natali's (Jones) house. We're all going to have a big Thanksgiving potluck with everyone and that will be fun because these girls have really become my family."
A season of giving thanks, Zumach said she has a lot to be thankful for this year. 
"I'm really thankful that I'm at a place like K-State," she said. "Just the community around me, my teammates, my coaches, my professors; I'm just really thankful for this opportunity. Not many people have such a great college experience, and I'm having a fantastic one so far."
K-State football has a morning practice on Thursday, but head coach Bill Snyder gives the team the afternoon off and, much like K-State volleyball, those who live nearby have the opportunity to go home and many bring teammates with them.
"It's a special holiday and it's one that carries a great deal of meaning with the vast majority of families," said Snyder on Thanksgiving. "(We) practice early on Thursday, and the players who live close by have the opportunity to get home on Thursday afternoon for some Thanksgiving time with their families. I admire and appreciate it so much because many of our players take their teammates who are a distance away from home with them."
One of those players who offered an invitation to any and all teammates is senior linebacker Jonathan Truman from Kechi, Kansas. 
"Since I'm only two hours away, I think I might make the quick drive home and have dinner with my family," said Truman. "It's an open invitation (to my teammates), I don't know if anybody is coming yet, but everybody on the team knows they're welcome to come to my place, for sure." 
While many players go home, many, like roommates Jake Waters and Curry Sexton, decide to stay in town and celebrate with their K-State family.
"We're going to have a little family get together on Thursday at our place," explained Waters. A native of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Waters said his family is coming out for the holiday and staying through K-State football's game against KU where the Wildcats will celebrate Senior Day at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday.
Added Sexton on their holiday get together, "My parents, the Cantele family and Jake's dad and little brother, they're all coming down here and they're all bringing food. We're going to hang out, watch football and maybe play some cards. I think everybody just wants to eat and relax, so that's the plan. Usually we go back home to Abilene, but I'm totally fine with having Thanksgiving here. 
"As long as I've got family around I'll be happy." 
Happy Thanksgiving, K-State Sports Extra readers! I'm thankful to have great readers like you this year! - Kelly McHugh
K-State's Katie Reininger celebrates after the Wildcats win the first game against Kansas at Horejsi Family Athletics Center in Lawrence, Kansas on October 1, 2014. (Scott D. Weaver/K-State Athletics)
 

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