Column: It is time to get going once again

Published 9:11 pm Friday, August 17, 2007

By Staff
Fall sports officially began earlier this week as Dowagiac and Niles took to the links for girls' varsity golf matches.
Both teams look like they are contenders in their respective conferences.
The Lady Vikings are the defending Big 16 West Division champions and are loaded once again.
Dowagiac has perhaps the best team that veteran coach Van Johnson has ever had and now that the Wolverine Conference officially recognizes girls' golf, I am hoping the Chieftains can make a run at the title.
On Saturday, some of our cross country team open up their seasons at the Viking Stampede at Dowagiac Middle School and the South Bend Stampede at St. Patrick's Park.
The remaining sports teams will open up play next week.
Summers seem to be getting shorter and shorter in the high school sports world.
It seems like only yesterday that I was covering the spring sports state tournaments.
Actually, summer has gotten shorter for our athletes.
With the spring sports tournaments now wrapping up in mid-June, and fall sports practices beginning the second week of August, the summer is down to about two months.
Now I know I am pretty old, but when I was in school we had almost three full months of summer vacation.
Of course there was summer baseball and softball to be played, but for today's high school athlete sports is a full-time "job."
Now that I have that off my chest, let me tell you I cannot wait for sports to get into full swing.
There is nothing quite like high school athletics as far as I am concerned.
I don't worry about wins or losses because I don't have to. That's the coaches' job.
I just enjoy watching our area kids get out there and compete. My only wish for them to be competitive.
Just give it your all and we as fans cannot ask for more, or at least we shouldn't ask for more.
I expect a lot of our teams to have great years. Several of them are coming off outstanding seasons in 2006 and should be able to build on those successes.
Without a doubt, some teams will not be as successful, but that shouldn't matter.
There are high school kids, not college or professional athletes.
We shouldn't expect them to "win at all costs." We should expect them to try their best and represent our communities with class.
We should all take pride in these young men and women. They provide us with some memorable moments throughout each season.
Since they are giving so much, I would ask that you the fans give some back.
Get out there and support these teams, win or lose. They deserve that much for the effort they put in.
Quite often I am proud of our area fans as they outnumber the home teams.
I am ashamed as well, when fans don't support their local athletes.
They deserve better than that and I hope this year we get out there in bunches and show them just how much we support them.