Where Did the Year Go?

It seems like only a few weeks ago that I was given the green light to cover sports for the school year for this paper. Actually, it was mid-August right before the first football game, but my how the time has flown.

We flew through the fall sports with football, slow-pitch softball, cross country, and a new sport locally, volleyball. We saw teams advance deep into the playoffs and also saw our cross country runners and teams take state titles. Union County has become a force to be reckoned with in cross country and will be for many years to come.

Winter sports included basketball, soccer, and bowling. Again, we had teams that enjoyed success during the regular season and post-season. As always, basketball in Union County was highly competitive. New Albany soccer welcomed a new coach and captured their first girls’ division title in school history and will return almost all their starters next year.

Spring sports that included baseball, fast pitch softball, track, tennis, archery, and golf saw our local schools and athletes take individual and team state titles. We still have one team playing for a state championship as East Union competes in baseball this week and we wish them the best.

I want to take the time to thank all the schools, administrators, coaches and players for making this a most enjoyable and eventful year for me. I was able to see all our schools compete in various sports and the privilege was all mine. For the past 18 years I have been at virtually a couple of sports, football and soccer, since we had three sons that played and one that has been coaching for the past 12 years. Soccer has been my main focus in sports of this time period.

I still love the games of soccer and football, but I have also come to enjoy and appreciate all the sports that are offered in our schools. There is one constant in every sport, each athlete competes giving their all in hopes of taking the prize, whether it be on an individual or team basis.

We have an abbreviation of sports of sorts for the next few months, but there will still be games and matches to report, athletes to focus on and always the excitement of looking forward to “next year” in a particular sport. The main thing we need to do is to continue to follow and support our young people. They are young but for a short time, we need to take every opportunity to share in these moments.

Thanks to all who made this a great year for me. I met some very impressive athletes and they were impressive both on the field and off it as well. I hope that in some small way I was able to contribute to our local prep sports coverage through print, web, and social media. Enjoy your summer and hopefully I will see you at the game next fall.

About Dennis Clayton

I cover high school sports in Union County for the New Albany Gazette and also occasionally contribute sports articles to sister community newspapers of Journal Inc. Follow me on Twitter: @denclayton for scores and updates on our local high school teams. See you at the games!
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