Craig Last night, the fall sports season came to an end, and in most ways, that’s OK.
It’s November now, which means the temperature is cooling and only going to get colder, so moving indoors to watch games is a welcome change.
Yet I’m bummed about this change in the sports calendar for one big reason — it’s a reminder that another group of athletes is moving on.
Last fall was my first sports season in Craig, and it led off a great year for me. But because last year was the first time through the gauntlet, I still was working on figuring my job out. I was so focused on what I was covering, it didn’t leave as much time for figuring out who I was covering.
But now that I’ve seen many of this year’s seniors compete in two years of football, plus basketball or wrestling and baseball, or two years of volleyball plus basketball, swimming or soccer, I find myself affected, in my own way, by the ending of some local athletes’ careers.
Whereas last year I barely met many of the seniors, this year I’ve spoken to many of them over and over, and I’ve watched all of them play more times than I care to count. When you’re always there, it’s tough not to get invested.
My connection to the games and players is not the same as a coach’s, but in the same way coaches are sad to see seniors who’ve dedicated themselves for four years move on, I’m disappointed I won’t get to watch some of these athletes play again. I know their styles of play and who they work best with and how they celebrate. Watching games next season, something will feel like it is missing.
But there are a couple of silver linings to this line of thinking. One is that while it is disappointing to see these athletes go, the reason it is disappointing is because they all were so fun to watch. I mean that, even in a fall during which there weren’t many wins across the board.
I love sports, and going to watch a game of any kind, win or lose, is more enjoyable than sitting at my desk all day. I’ll take that every day of the week. So thanks, seniors, for making my life way less boring.
The other bright spot is the key one: It’s just the fall sports season! Many of these athletes may have finished one career, but they’ve still got a season left in another sport or two to be played.
I can live with that. Bring on basketball, hockey, wrestling and swimming.
Nate Waggenspack is the sports writer for the Craig Daily Press and an admitted sap. He can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com.