SE: Wildcats Go Home for the Holidays

This holiday season, K-State student-athletes are spending some much needed quality time at home with their families. The grind of finals, training and competing can take a toll on these competitors, but for K-State football and men’s and women’s basketball whose seasons are all currently going in full force, they’re taking advantage of a few days rest. 

“I’m so happy for Christmas, and that we get to go home,” laughed women’s basketball junior forward BreAnna Lewis earlier this week. “I feel like its good to have a break, especially since we’ll be with our family. Get away, have a good dinner, see family, enjoy them then come back and get back to business.”

Following K-State women’s basketball’s 84-45 win over Western Illinois on Monday evening, Lewis is headed back to her hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to rest up before the Wildcats begin the second half of their 2015-16 season next week. The women’s basketball team (10-1) gets five days off before beginning Big 12 play on Wednesday, December 30, with a matchup against Iowa State at 7 p.m., in Bramlage Coliseum.

Similar to the women’s team, the K-State men’s basketball team will also be spending the holidays with their families. With its 63-49 win over North Dakota on Tuesday evening behind it, the Wildcats (9-2) can put their feet up for a few days.

“It’s such a rare thing to get to go home, especially during the season,” said senior guard Brian Rohleder, who made the quick drive home to Wichita, Kansas. “So to spend time with your family, it’s just so special. It’s a good break. It’s right before conference play starts where we really start getting to the grind and the dog days of the season. It’s nice to have that break, regroup and get ready for the conference push.”

Upon returning from its break, K-State men’s basketball will take on Saint Louis on December 29 at 7 p.m., in Bramlage Coliseum before beginning its Big 12 season at home on January 2, against West Virginia. 

“I’ll be home for Christmas, from the 23 through 25,” said senior guard Justin Edwards, who flew home to Whitby, Ontario, for Christmas. “It’s going to be good to get our legs rested, get to see family, and then when we come back, we’ll be right back at it again.”

While both men’s and women’s basketball are in the middle of their seasons, K-State football is eyeing its season’s end. The Wildcat football team (6-6, 3-6 Big 12) is set to take on Arkansas (7-5, 5-3 SEC) in this year’s AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The game kicks off at 2:20 p.m., on January 2, at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee. 

While the team has spent this week preparing for the bowl, following a Christmas Eve morning practice, the players have the opportunity to head home for a few days before leaving for departing Manhattan for Memphis on the 28th. 

“We’ll get a little break, get a little time to go back and see our families for Christmas,” said senior wide receiver Kody Cook of Louisburg, Kansas. “I’m really looking forward to it. I’m going to see my grandma, so it’ll be nice to get a little break and then come back and get to get ready for Arkansas and bowl week.”

While they’re all traveling near and far for the holidays, one thing these three programs have in common is once they return from their respective breaks, it’s all business. 

“When we get back, we’ll be fired up and ready to go because it will be game week,” senior offensive lineman Cody Whitehair of Abilene, Kansas, said with a smile. 

Whether staying home in Kansas or traveling around the world, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Wildcats!