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Sports writing: Could it be too much fun?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I have to say, now that I've gotten back into my groove, so to speak, this school year has been a lot of fun for me. Not only have I finally gotten back into the job I've loved right from the first day I started doing it more than four years ago, but I got to see some pretty cool stuff along the way.

For starters, the Nevada Lady Tigers softball team won yet another district championship this season and I got to cover it for the second time in three seasons. On top of that, the Nevada Tigers football team had its best season in more than a decade.

I'll be the first to admit neither team's season ended the way anyone, including me, would have like it to end, but it was still a lot of fun for me to get to cover those teams.

I joked with Tigers head coach Wes Beachler right around the midpoint of the season that if his team kept playing the tight, back-and-forth games they had been playing, they'd give me gray hair before I even turned 25, but looking back on that now, I think the fact that so many games turned out to be all-out wars was a big part of why it was so much fun. After it all came to an end with a 35-25 loss to Harrisonville in the district semifinals, I said a number of times that I wasn't ready to quit covering football this year because it was too much fun.

And, of course, I can't forget about the girls' golf and boys' swim teams. I got to be the one to cover the first postseason girls' golf tournament that's ever been played in Nevada and I have to admit, that was pretty cool.

As I'm sure every one of my readers knows, Nevada High School hadn't had a boys' swim team before this year, so head coach Ryan Watts and I were in for the same surprises and went into the season with the same mentality of simply wondering what might happen. Sure enough, we were both all kinds of surprised, as were the other coaches Watts found himself having to battle throughout the season and the seven members of his team when not only were the Tigers able to compete with some of the toughest opposition in the state, but even qualified one swimmer for the state meet in Jesse Claypool.

He may not have been able to advance out of the preliminary heats in the 100-yard breaststroke, but Claypool still gave me, his coach and all of the fans of the sport plenty to be happy with since nobody really expected much to come out of the team's inaugural season aside from simply getting a feel for how the Tigers might stack up in the future.

I've always enjoyed reporting on sports in this newspaper and the others for which I've done freelance work, so when I got the chance to come back to work after my long hiatus due to medical problems, I certainly had no intention of passing it up and now that I've gotten to experience all that in just three months, I'm certainly glad I didn't miss out.

I was more than happy to jump on the opportunity when I got a call last week from former Nevada High School wrestler Tanner Charles' father, Tim, telling me about the tournament Tanner and Todd Brier competed in at the University of Central Missouri and I always look forward to high school wrestling season as well as basketball because I have just as much fun covering those as I do football.

And don't even get me started on baseball. I know it will be a while before that starts, but it's just one more of the many reasons I know I've got plenty more fun still ahead of me and I hope that lasts for years to come.



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Eric Wade
Beyond the Bench