THIS & THAT

Happy New Year to all of you. May 2019 be a bright light in your life.

I am looking forward to so many sporting events in the New Year, locally, regionally, and nationally. I don’t drink wine, but I have heard over and over again, that it gets better with age. I’m telling you right now, my sports world gets better with age. It is so good I can’t keep up sometimes. I told you a story a little while back about a friend of mine being so excited in October because four professional sports had games on the same day and the high school fall play-offs were full speed ahead, and he let me know it was his favorite time of year. Wall to wall, sports every day.

My reply then, and it’s even more so today, was basically, “Stop the Merry Go Round; I want to get off.” My head hurts and I can’t keep up with it all.

I wonder how many people feel the way I do. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t love sports any less, but I miss what I don’t see and you can’t see it all.

When I was a teenager and a young adult, I had the presence to be able to follow as many as three games at one time and really know everything about all three encounters. I would station myself with a chair and a coffee table in the hallway between two bedrooms – just outside the bathroom making it difficult for anyone to enter – in a position in which I could view both the television in the living room and one of the bedrooms and then beside me would be a transistor radio. One game would be on each television and a third would be on the radio. This was routine and considered an enjoyable day.

What’s wrong with me? Today, I don’t even enjoy keeping track of two games at once. I still keep track of all those games, but it has to be one after another. I tape two of them and hope nobody spoils things and tells me the scores before I actually watch the games.

I guess sports probably do get better with age as I said, but chances are what we enjoy and how fast those events come at us has taken to peace with a much slower approach. Regardless of your age, feel free of giving us feedback on how you enjoy your sports and any unique ways you have found to follow your favorite sporting action.

I hope to take in at least a couple of sporting events at Black River High School because I never know for sure when the school’s last varsity sporting event will be held. I am confident there will be teams representing the school this year, but beyond that, I am not sure. I already attended the Josh Cole Tournament in the fall and it was not just exciting action on the field but it was moving to hear the tourney may live beyond the days of the school’s existence. Leland & Gray stood up and said they would do what they could to help the town of Ludlow keep the event going.

Speaking of Ludlow, I wonder how many people realize how important it was when Joe Gurdak came forward again to take the school’s athletic director’s job. No one I know understands the ins and outs of Presidents’ athletics. Every athletic director job is difficult, but when the numbers are really waning and clear direction for rallying the troops is needed, having the experience of Gurdak around makes a huge difference.

While on the subject of athletic directors, very few readers know how difficult those jobs are. The intangibles drive each and every AD crazy. The schools that have a number of sports each season and don’t give their AD enough hours make it more difficult too.

Say thanks to your AD when you see him to give him a boost.

Both Black River basketball teams have shown some spark in the early going. They both have losing records – the girls 1-3 and the boys 1-2 – but the girls nipped Leland & Gray in a close one 29-27. That game said a lot about the Lady Presidents’ character. They lost some one-sided games, but given the opportunity to smell victory, they found a way to win.

I am really wondering how far Don Richard can propel the President boys. They have some talent and defeated Mid-Vermont Christian on the road 62-54. Neither of their losses diminish their chances for success. They lost on the road versus rival Green Mountain 45-36 and fell to a strong Proctor team that could contend for the Vermont State Title 51-31.

If you have comments about the sports in this paper, feel free to drop a line to Sports Editor Bill Murphy at bmurhy@vermontjournal.com.

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