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Readers will come to expect, and hopefully enjoy from time to time, a carnival of commentary in this space each week.
We’ll hit a variety of topics, and it almost always will be local. Some weeks, it’s tougher to zero in on one topic as there are several ideas running through my mind I believe are worth noting.
Perhaps it’s some form of caffeine-induced attention deficit disorder or something. I don’t know. Sometimes you’ve just got to fill a column, and a list of random bullet points instead of the usual rambling about a singular theme is a must.
This, apparently, is one of those times:
• Congratulations to the boys basketball teams at Cedar Key and Dixie County for sticking it out and not giving up through two winless months. Both were rewarded with their first wins this past week. With the regular season winding down, time was running short on getting off the schnide. It would’ve been easy to give up on their teammates, their coaches and themselves, but they didn’t quit and learned an important life lesson in the process. Kudos to all the fans who weathered a tough season and continued supporting the Sharks and Bears as well.
• Chiefland’s middle school boys team is legit. The Braves are bigger, stronger and faster than most teams they play. Throw in the fact that they’re very well-coached, and it’s no surprise no team has figured out how to beat, or even compete, with the Braves all season. If those guys can stay healthy and stay on the court, then the future is bright for Chiefland basketball.
• We’ve attended middle school games and junior varsity games in the past few weeks. We plan to cover the Braves in the SMAC tourney finals today against Ruth Raines Middle School in Trenton. However, the majority of our coverage will focus on varsity. We will highlight teams, like the unbeaten Braves, when it’s warranted, but I believe players at the varsity level are the most deserving of regular game coverage. Younger players will get their chance when, and if, they make it to varsity. It’s not that they’re not deserving, too, but it’s been my experience that too much exposure at an early age can be too much for players, and parents, to handle wisely.
•Speaking of coverage, I keep hearing folks from Chiefland wonder why we cover non-Chiefland teams in the Chiefland Citizen. We get folks from other towns wondering why they’re getting coverage in a paper of a different town’s name. I don’t get it. My argument is to look at other newspapers around the country. The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal Constitution and Orlando Sentinel cover news and events outside of the cities they‘re named for. Now, I’m not delusion. I realize the Citizen is not one of those major metro papers, but we have never focused solely on Chiefland in anything we do, especially sports. We’re not changing the name of the paper, like folks in other towns like to suggest, but we will strive to cover the tri-county area, just as we always have, to our best abilities.
• A player said he was called out by his coach in front of teammates for making a late mistake in a game the team ended up losing. I’ve seen this happen dozens of times and the player beats themselves up over it for days, if not longer. The thing is, if you look back at the game, there were dozens of other mistakes made that impacted the outcome as well. This young man, who exited the locker room on the verge of tears, only made the last miscue, which is why it was magnified the most. That’s all. Everybody made mistakes. Keep your head up kid.The thing is, any of those topics could have made an entire column, but then I would’ve wasted all but one of those ideas, and the caffeine.