What a summer

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By Jessica Veatch



So I know summer is not officially over until September, but for me being a teacher, my summer break is all but gone. I have a few more days, but I usually spend most of those remaining days getting my room organized for the upcoming school year. I also try to squeeze in at least one day for lounging around my swimming pool because once school begins, the weekend is usually the only time I have a chance to swim if then.
So I wanted to take this time to revisit the events that have made this summer quite a summer to me even though it has been very short.
First of all, I had the chance to travel to New Orleans, La., to attend the Exxon Mobil Teachers Academy that provided training in math and science instructional strategies. It was a fun trip where I met many new teachers from all over the United States and gained new ideas for teaching math science. I hated leaving my 2-year-old daughter Karli for that long at a time, but she was well taken care of. She was also very glad to see me the night she and Josh picked me up at the airport.
Another event that made this a great summer was playing in ASA softball tournament during the Bluegrass State Games and winning the bronze medal. Now maybe that doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment to some, but you have to know that our women’s team only plays two tournaments a summer. So to finish in the top three is quite an achievement for us, although we pay for it the following week with soreness.
Now the remainder of my article deals with the Marion County sports world, both the softball and baseball All-Stars.  
I first attended the Little League softball All-Star district tournament where Marion County had two teams competing, the 9 and 10-year-old team and the 11 and 12-year-old team. The tournament was held in Washington County, making it very handy for me to make it to all of the games. I watched both of these teams compete in each of their games, going undefeated and winning the district title to take them on to the state tournament held in LaGrange.  
Now during part of the All-Star softball state tournament, I was gone on my trip so I had to rely on Josh to keep me posted with the scores of each game. Once I returned, I was able to attend the semifinal game for both Marion County teams, seeing the 11 and 12-year-old team advance to the finals. I then witnessed the final game, seeing the girls finish as state runner-up. Marion County was well represented by both of these All-Star softball teams as they both made quite a run in the state tournament.
Now I will shift to the baseball All-Stars. In district play, Marion County was represented by three All-Star teams, including a 9 and 10-year-old team, an 11-year-old team, and an 11-12-year-old team. Luckily, the Little League baseball All-Star district tournament was held at Graham Memorial Park so I was able to take in most of the three Marion County team’s games. Despite two of the teams getting beat out, the 11-year-olds dominated in the district tournament, giving them the opportunity to compete in the state tournament.
Fortunately, the Little League baseball state tournament was also held at Graham Memorial Park. Not only was I able to witness the Marion County team’s games, I was also involved with keeping pitch counts and announcing for other games during the week.  
I missed the first two Marion County games due to me playing in the Bluegrass Games, but I was able to take in the remaining three games that the locals played. In the final game of pool play, the team showed tremendous heart by coming back and winning despite being down seven runs before the final two innings of play. And yeah, if you didn’t hear, that game wasn’t over until about 12:15 or so in the morning, but if anybody left early to get more sleep, you missed a treat. The semifinal game was also quite memorable. After jumping out to an early 6-0 lead, Marion County’s game was postponed due to a lightning show and scheduled to resume the next night. The locals went on to win the game and take them to the championship game.
Now the championship game was at one time scheduled to be at 7 p.m. but due to weather delays during the week, it was slated for 10 a.m. on Thursday morning.  I was somewhat disappointed by this time change because I can only imagine how many fans the local team would have had if the game had remained a night game.  The youngsters gave it all they had, but lost the game to take the title of state runner-up, a great accomplishment.
Needless to say, I am very proud of these teams that I had the opportunity to watch this summer, not only because of their spectacular play but also the great sportsmanship and teamwork that they displayed. Marion County also did an impressive job in hosting the district and state Little League baseball tournaments.
I guess all I can say about this summer is “what a summer!”