Supporting your team

Mississippi State’s magical run toward a coveted national championship ended Tuesday night in an 8-0 loss to UCLA. In short, State just couldn’t execute the way they had all through the regional, super regional, and College World Series. By the way, UCLA did execute and used the field, wind, and every opportunity to their advantage and that’s what wins ballgames.

Still, Mississippi State enjoyed a 51-20 record and for the first time in school history and Mississippi history, we played for the National Championship. We may never see this again in our lifetime. I certainly hope we will see it again, whether it be State or Ole Miss, it would be great to see history repeated in playing for the championship. Even better would be winning the championship as a first for Mississippi.

The object of this column however is to focus on how the fans supported the Bulldogs. Here’s a couple of notes from the College World Series that might bear examining, attendance for game two was 27,127, which broke the all time record at TD Ameritrade Park and the attendance for the entire CWS was 341,483, also a record.

Bulldog fans took over the park, it was almost a home field type advantage in numbers. It seemed everywhere you looked, there was a sea of maroon and white. Mississippi State may have lost the series, but the fans made the series the success that it was. It also appeared that most stayed until the bitter end, even applauding their team’s efforts and season with a maroon-white cheer at game’s end.

Hopefully we can all use this as an incentive to follow and support our local teams in sports on a greater scale. Our kids need our support and encouragement, that’s why we need to be there for them. No matter whether heat or cold, sunshine or rain, we must go and cheer them on.

We are wrapping up the NEMCABB Baseball Tournament this week and hopefully some of us have been able to make some very good matchups of our high school teams from North Mississippi. At this writing, we had New Albany, Pontotoc, Itawamba and Lafayette playing in the semifinals. This is a great opportunity for coaches to evaluate their teams, give young guys a chance to play a role and contribute to their team, perhaps even giving them opportunity to earn a starting position come spring.

We will begin play in the Cotton States during July for our 7-8 graders and 9-12 graders in baseball and also this will be the inaugural season for 7-12 grade girls’ fast pitch softball. Word is that we will have four softball teams and that would be great news to begin this program. We will have many games in July with all the above and it gives us the opportunity to go out and show support for our youth that are participating.

I close with a quote from the Twitter account of Athlete Intellect: “The cost of not following your dreams is spending the rest of your life wishing you had.”

This not only applies to athletics, it applies to all of us in whatever vocation we find ourselves in. Follow your dreams and follow your teams. They need your support and they appreciate your support.

About Dennis Clayton

I cover high school sports in Union County and 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.