The good news is I arrived at the other side of the maze on July 16, but not without a couple of final twists and turns.
I was admitted to Sacred Heart in Pensacola for gallbladder issues on Wednesday, July 12 and four days later I was minus a gallbladder.
The timing worked out perfectly as now I can head into the fall without fear of the always possible gallbladder attack.
Most teams have been working out most of the summer, but the Florida High School Athletic Association has set July 31 as the officially recognized date that practice starts. All sports calendar related events start with July 31.
Football, volleyball, golf, cross country, swimming, dance and cheer are officially on the clock. I guess football pays the most attention to the calendar as teams must build to the time they can put on full pads and do the hitting players and fans love the most.
Football is the king of the fall at Crestview and Baker. Volleyball plays second fiddle while swimming, golf and cross country fill out my busy dance card.
If I overlook your sport or team, it’s not intentional. I know the golfer earning medalist honors is just as important as the football player scoring a touchdown or the match ending kill on the volleyball floor. I welcome any submitted scores or results of a meet or match.
I know this fall will be the last time many seniors compete in organized athletics. Sometime in the next four or five months young men and young women will take off their uniform on last time and become former high school athletes. I wish I could tell them they will get used to that feeling, but it’s been 48 years since I last played, and an emptiness still remains.
That emptiness has been filled with continued relationships with teammates and coaches. I’m blessed to have had teammates that remain good friends although the years and miles have often kept us separated except when we gather for reunions.
I once read that a friend is someone that knows you really well and likes you anyway. I am blessed to have people that know me and like me despite my shortcomings.
The night before I was discharged from the hospital following my surgery I was talking about this job to one of the nurses. She said she could tell I love the job because my face lit up when I talk about the community and writing sports.
I’m guilty as charged. Writing sports is my calling and North Okaloosa County has become my beloved beat as I have been blessed to share the stories of our young men and women.
Let’s get the 2023-2024 sports year started.