Thursday, March 4, 2010
Sometimes the small things stand out and deserve some ink in this newspaper.
The big news out of the Big House last week and this week is the competition on the court. Teams are playing their hearts out in search of state championships at Jackson.
But in my trips to Mississippi Coliseum Friday and Saturday to cover the H.W. Byers Lady Lions and the Holly Springs Hawks, a show of sportsmanship impressed me the most.
Terek James of Holly High fell hard and awkwardly to the floor in the fourth quarter when trying to block a shot. It was scary. He stayed on the floor for several minutes while coaches and others rushed to his assistance.
The estimated 2,800 in attendance were silent and concerned.
And to the side of the court, in front of their bench, the five Forest High School players on the basketball court at the time huddled, bowed their heads and prayed together.
Prayer in public schools has taken a hit in recent years – an abolishment that I do not agree with. The National Anthem is played before athletic events, but there is no prayer.
But these young men – voluntarily and on their own – made a united request to God on behalf of an injured player from the opposing team.
Later, Terek James was helped to his feet, and with a loud ovation, left the court in lots of pain.
Forest went on to defeat Holly High 81-57. On this day, the Bearcats were the better team.
And even though I was there as an avid supporter of the Hawks, the Bearcats earned my respect – with their athletic ability and their sportsmanship.
The losses this past weekend by the Lady Lions and the Hawks wrapped up our basketball coverage for the season.
Someone, I think jokingly, pointed out my love for basketball a couple of months back. She was on target. And then last week, someone mentioned how well and how fairly The South Reporter covers the local teams.
Sports news and education news are a big part of each edition of this newspaper. Our young people deserve it, particularly those who work hard in the classroom and on the playing field.
The South Reporter sports crew – myself, Claude Vinson and Ronnie Day – logged many miles this basketball season for one primary cause – our young people in this county. We become a part of the teams.
Friday morning about 9, I left for Jackson and Byers’ game. It ended about 2:30 p.m. Then I drove back north on I-55 to see a baseball game Friday at 5 p.m. between Marshall Academy and Bayou Academy at Senatobia in the Magnolia Heights Tournament. I got home about 9:30 p.m.
The next morning, Saturday, coach Clifford Brown met me at the office and we left at 10 for the Holly High game at Jackson. It ended about 4 p.m. and we arrived back in Holly Springs (after stopping to eat) at about 8 p.m.
That’s just a sample of a typical weekend. This season I’ve been from Madden, to Jackson, to Wheeler, to Indianola, to West Memphis (Ark.), and the list goes on and on.
It’s hard to believe it’s actually part of my job. I have so much fun doing it.
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