We aim to be a comprehensive site, but we’re not exactly staffed like the Associated Press, or even if it had a local bureau. We get by with help from lots of friends. DHK Sports is operating sites here and in Greenville (FurmanATT.com) with two full-time employees, of which I am one.
We get around to as much as we can. It’s not an excuse. It’s a reason.
Sometimes we don’t get around to things that we should.
We get caught up in events. Events are time-consuming, but they drive interest and get the most attention. Personally, the best thing about ballgames is getting out. I consume time on what others want me to write at home. I consume time on what I want to write when I’m at some gym or stadium, on the edge of some court or field, and I get as much out of what’s not on the field as what is. If at all possible, I go early and stay late.
Events also involve photos, videos, interviews, etc., and everything involves editing and layout.
It’s year’s end, and I’m conscious of all that I’ve missed.
I missed the story of Anna Stevenson, the Laurens product who came within a match of playing with her University of Louisville volleyball teammates for the national championship. The Cardinals lost in the semifinals Thursday to Wisconsin, which played Nebraska in the finals on Saturday. The loss was Louisville’s only one of Stevenson’s senior season. She is a 1st-team All-American, and her team was ranked No. 1 at the time of its defeat.
I missed the story of the Waldrons, the Family of the Year for tennis in South Carolina. Sometimes I miss a story because I know it too well. Chuck Waldron and I have known each other at least since we entered the 1st grade. He, Mary and their children ought to win it every year.
I’m always behind. I don’t feel particularly bad about it. I’ve been a writer of sports for most of my life. I don’t recall ever not being behind. I’m sort of proud I can still work as hard as I do. Do what you love, kids. You won’t be as miserable when you do too much of it.
One of the late Donny Wilder’s sayings was, “Isn’t it amazing how every week there’s exactly enough news to fill the newspaper?”
A website doesn’t have that excuse. It can go on and on. The only reason to cut it is to take out what isn’t important. The only limitation is time.
Sports are slowing down a bit for the holidays, which is fortunate because part-timers are otherwise occupied, too. Plenty want to work for us if we can only make enough money to pay them. I swapped emails with a new prospect Friday.
The site is booming, which always happens when Presbyterian College does something stupid. I’d still trade some page views for some semblance of stability. Success helps, too. Both basketball teams are quite promising, baseball has lights and won the Big South tournament in the spring. Maybe it’s darkest just before the dawn, or maybe it’s a perpetual eclipse.
Meanwhile, Bailey Memorial Stadium sits there, an incredibly odd and stately place for a madcap comedy to be staged.
Damn it, I still hope the Blue Hose win any time they’re not playing Furman. This happens in men’s basketball Tuesday night, by the way. I’m scared. Deeply scared. A few years back, in Gregg Nibert’s last season, PC upset the Paladins in the opening game, after which the Hose won four more games and the Paladins won 23.
It had to be my fault. God must punish me for my sins by having PC put a scare into my alma mater, though usually just when I'm present. Furman had better be at its best. I’ll be there, needing to break a jinx.
What did I enjoy the most? Comebacks. Clinton’s comeback season. Laurens’ late-season comeback. All three Laurens County football seasons ended with defeats to the teams – Daniel, South Pointe, Holly Hill Academy – that won state championships. Three of Laurens' four losses -- to Hanna, Clinton and River BLuff -- were excruciatingly tight.
What did I enjoy the least? The firing of Tommy Spangler and the long day’s journey into night named Kevin Kelley. Presbyterian’s football season(s) took up as much of the year as NASCAR. My old man used to call something “damndest thing ever I see’d” – that and “funniest thing they ever was” -- at least five times a day. At the moment, I’ve just got one for both categories.
I gave short shrift to the county football players who took part in post-season all-star games. Clinton's Peyton Pitts and Laurens' Zy Todd played in the North-South Game. The Red Devils' Davis Wilson and the Raiders' James Rawl Jr., were playing in other games. Laurens Academy had four -- Diamonte Grant, Cal Robertson, Will Jones and Clarence Bertoli -- in the SCISA version of a North-South game.
At the moment, what I haven’t had time to examine fully is high-school realignment.
Next year Laurens tentatively moves into what appears to be an easier Class 4A, Region 2, where barring the inevitable surprise, its chief rival figures to be Greer, with Riverside dropping down from 5A. Off to crowd Westside in Region 1 are Greenwood and Greenville.
Clinton's region drops from six to five schools, meaning that Chapman and Broome are leaving and Chester is joining Clinton along with Union County, Woodruff and Emerald, now it's Region 4-3A. Region 1 looks easier for Daniel and Region 2 trends harder for Powdersville. Gaffney is grouped back in with the 5A powers of Byrnes, Spartanburg, Dorman and the rest of the Indians’ old gang. Northwestern drops to 4A.
It won’t be easier for smaller public schools. Christ Church is dropping to Class A, now paired with Southside Christian and St. Joseph’s, which increases the competition between them but aggravates the plight of tiny schools such as Ware Shoals, Dixie, Calhoun Falls, et al.
The realignment isn’t yet binding. Appeals are to be heard Jan. 24-26. My suspicion is that neither public school in the county is likely to beg officially to differ. One hopes the Raiders play Greenwood in a non-region rivalry.
Meanwhile, YouTube pulled the plug on ESPN and ABC this morning, and I’ve got Purdue at Butler on TV right now because it’s at Hinkle Fieldhouse, where the final scenes of Hoosiers were shot.
Fortunately, I’ve got Wofford at PC to attend, and that more than makes up for missing the GinaLollobrigida.com/Housewives of Oconee County Harvest Moon Bowl Presented by Gutter Guards/Reverse Mortgage 1-Stoppe Shoppe.
Or whatever it is.