Fielder's Choice

Activities boost morale

All of us seem to be looking for small touches of hope this day and time. I found some last week.

Tuesday morning, May 12, I covered some sports news.

Keep in mind, baseball, tennis, track, softball, golf ­ all those spring sports ­ did not get played.

The South Reporter is a community newspaper, and we're all about community. Our sports pages, during March, April and May, are typically filled with high school athletes from Holly Springs, Marshall Academy, H.W. Byers, Potts Camp and Byhalia competing in those sports.

Instead, your newspaper had to slice its sports pages from three or four to one and a half this spring.

So it was great to be able to walk into the conference room at Marshall Academy, be greeted by head coach Bruce Branch and take a photo of Darian Houston signing a baseball scholarship with Northeast.

It gave me somewhat a sense of normalcy.

I hadn't been on the scene covering anything concerning high school athletics since the first week of March.

Then on Wednesday morning, I was driving my usual newspaper route and making a few trips back and forth to the post office.

I've never been so happy to see Holly Springs city workers cutting grass. That's not because the grass was way too tall, even though it did need cutting. It was because I hadn't seen them out and about in weeks due to COVID-19.

As I was making a couple of trips to and from the post office on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, it really made me feel good when I saw the men on lawn mowers and operating weed eaters.

In fact, as I soon as I got back to the office, I even told my co-workers.

"I'm feeling better about things today," I said. "Those city guys are back at work."

It was uplifting. And I need all the uplifting I can get these days.

Later Wednesday morning, I drove to the Potts Camp gymnasium and talked to basketball coach Jeremy Dillard and one of his star players, senior Walter Hamilton, who signed with Itawamba.

My second sports story in two days, I was on cloud nine.

Also last week, I received graduation plans for Marshall Academy and the Marshall County School District. That news was certainly encouraging.

My heart goes out to all those seniors in the various Classes of 2020. Our youngest daughter is one of those.

And the big news last week was her being notified by school officials that she was valedictorian for 2020 at MA.

I'd never seen her so happy ­ and rightfully and deservingly so. Her parents were just as happy ­ and proud, very proud. It was a big morale boost during these uncertain times, for all the Burlesons.

The final ray of hope came that evening when Pam and I took Erin to a restaurant for inhouse dining. We hadn't eaten inside a restaurant since spring break.

"So glad to see you," the manager and waitress said.

"Same here," I replied. It was a great celebration, in more ways than one. Then Thursday, I took some baseball practice photos. I needed all that hope.

Holly Springs South Reporter

P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
PH: (662) 252-4261
FAX: (662) 252-3388
www.southreporter.com

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