When the high school football season is over, it's over. Same with basketball and volleyball and many other sports.
Not baseball, though.
When the high school baseball season ends, the players keep playing baseball.
Many members of Free State High's team, for example, took Saturday off, then will go right back at it today when the Raiders, Lawrence's top American Legion team, open their season.
"It is kind of a weird deal," Free State coach Mike Hill said following Friday's season-ending 8-1 loss to host Maize in the first round of the Class 6A state tournament.
"When the season is over, you're usually putting everything back," Hill said, "but a lot of these guys will change uniforms and get right back at it, and they should."
Some of the Firebirds planned to play for the Raiders today even if they had advanced to Saturday morning's semifinals at the Maize Sports Complex and the consolation or championship game later in the day.
In so doing, they wouldn't have had much sleep Saturday night because the Raiders will open with a doubleheader today against Olathe South at the Olathe District Athletics Complex.
"If some of them didn't want to play that would have been OK," said Raiders coach Carl Brooks, who made the trip to Maize to watch the state tournament. "We would have filled in."
Senior catcher/designated hitter Chris Coleman no doubt summed up the feelings of the Firebirds-turned-Raiders when he said: "I'll be there. That's what baseball is all about. You get to come right back. There's another state championship out there."
Last year's Raiders, featuring players from both Free State and Lawrence High, advanced to the State Legion tourney in Emporia.
Two Firebirds who won't play for the Raiders this summer are brothers Ryne Price and Robbie Price. The Prices plan to leave Tuesday for California where they'll play for a U.S. Baseball Federation team for the rest of the summer.
Ryne and Robbie Price finished 1-2 in hitting for the Firebirds during the best season in the school's six-year history.
Among the Firebirds who will join the Raiders today, in addition to Coleman, are Matt Berner, Matt Lane, David Allen, Blake Dickson, Tyler Blankenship and Kyle Unruh.