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Beginning again

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By Gerard Flanagan

Summer break is coming to an end, signaling the impending start of school in Marion County. However, the thought that school is near invokes a different thought in me: high school sports are near.

Another summer has nearly come and gone, a summer full of excitement and accomplishments for our local sports teams and athletes. Arguably, the 10-12 Softball All-Stars have made the biggest highlight this season. The team won the state championship and advanced to represent Kentucky in the Central Region Tournament in Indianapolis. The All-Stars are vying for a spot in the World Series in Portland. Good luck, girls!

By this time next month, the fall sports season will be well underway. The Friday night lights will once again shine over the football field. The sound of cleats and soccer balls will fill the soccer field. The Roby Dome, home of the boys and girls basketball teams and our volleyball team, will trade in the basketball and basketball net for a volleyball and volleyball net for the next few months. The golf team will tee off at the Lebanon Country Club, and the cross country team will get some laps in throughout the season.

Hundreds of athletes will represent Marion County in their respective sports, striving for a successful season for both themselves and the team. Some will be playing in their final seasons, while others will be taking the first steps in their young high school careers.

Sports has a special power to bring people together and to evoke such strong and powerful emotions. Excitement can be found in every sport, and it is that excitement that first drew me to sports, and it has sustained my love for sports.

I have seen the powerful emotions sports can generate over the four years I’ve covered sports at the Enterprise. Walk-off hits in baseball. Late-game touchdowns in football. A double-overtime win in basketball. A massive comeback. These situations are fertile ground for emotional celebrations and reactions, and as both a sports fan and reporter, you can’t help but become fully immersed in the game when excitement like that happens.

People who follow sports, from fans, to commentators, to pundits, never truly know what one quarter, one game or even one season might hold. We can predict what might happen, but there’s a reason we play the game. Many times, the predictions made before a game turn out to be totally incorrect. Massive upsets happen. David slays Goliath.

Now, as the days left in summer break are numbered, my focus turns to the high school sports whose seasons will begin shortly. What will their seasons hold? Will there be thrilling games? I’m not one to predict the future, for I have found that predictions (at least, my predictions) turn out to be incorrect, at best, and wildly off, at most.

My hope, instead, is to see all teams play with effort, passion and determination. I am confident that there will be thrilling matches and powerful emotions this sports season, and I will be ready, and honored, to cover these.