The long awaited, much anticipated time of the year is at hand. We begin fall sports in our high schools afresh and anew this weekend. Actually, East Union got us started last weekend, although they were only allowed two and a half innings of play in softball due to the weather. They did lead Tupelo 4-0 in the contest though. Great start Coach Blythe and Lady Urchins!
We will have a weekend full of activities beginning with New Albany traveling to Kossuth for jamboree action to kickoff the high school football season. Coach Ron Price will again be at the helm of the Bulldogs this year, making this year six of his head coaching tenure at New Albany, dating back to the 2008 season.
Graduation hit the Bulldogs hard and there will be many new faces to get used to at the start of the year as they lost their leading rusher, Boston Newsum and starting quarterback, Spencer Day on offense. This will be a great opportunity to get a look at the many new faces and see how well they perform in game conditions. It may take a game or two, but we will get used to making the call of new playmakers’ names for the 2013 version of the Bulldogs.
East Union will not kickoff their football season a week later on August 23 at BNA Bank Park with a home contest against Houlka. East Union must replace their leading rusher, Broderick Montgomery as well as some of their leading receivers. Quarterback D.J. Armstrong will return to lead the offense and that is a huge plus for the Urchins and Coach Scott Duley.
This Saturday, August 17, will mark the opening game of the softball season for Ingomar, Myrtle, New Albany and West Union. All four teams will be involved in the West Union Preseason Classic along with Oxford and Hickory Flat. Most of these teams made the playoffs last fall, so this is a good opportunity to see some of the top teams in the area. Play begins at 9:00.
East Union will host their East Union Classic Softball Tournament on Saturday with area teams from Falkner, North Pontotoc, Mantachie, Pine Grove and Walnut participating. Again, several of these teams also made the playoffs last fall, so this is another good opportunity to watch some of the top teams in the area. First pitch is at 9:00 there also.
New Albany begins its second season of volleyball on Saturday as Coach Shay Ashford and the Lady Bulldogs travel to Pontotoc to play in the Pontotoc Invitational at 2:00. Optimism abounds as the Lady Bulldogs can now look to having some players with experience this year. Starting up a program is a tough job, but Coach Ashford has done a great job teaching the game as well as the techniques and tendencies necessary to mold good players and form a successful program.
We haven’t forgotten cross country, but they will not start up until August 24 as East Union and Myrtle will race in the TCPS Invitational. Our remaining schools, Ingomar, New Albany and West Union will not hit the trails until September. We look forward to another highly successful year from our cross country teams.
As I stated last week, we cannot be at every game or every event, so please help us out and keep us posted on your scores. Social media is great for reporting scores. Twitter is a great tool to use and we will retweet your scores. Text them to me if you are not a Twitter person, my cell is 316-0239 and I welcome your information. Those of us that work for the media are here for your players, your teams and your schools. It’s all about you, not us, so please help us try to help you and keep us posted on those scores.
Best wishes on a great season to all our players, coaches, teams and schools. As the title of this column stated earlier, “Let’s get it started!”
Follow Dennis Clayton on Twitter: @denclayton