August Sports Potpourri, with a dab of flotsam
Revised on: 08.16.2018 at 10:50 a.m.
Posted on: 08.14.2018 at 10:17 a.m.
It seems like almost daily I come across something that isn’t worth an entire article, but is worthy of a mention. Maybe it is in an email or text I have received in reference to something I have written. Sometimes it is something that I have observed. Occasionally it might be a random thought or question. If you have read some of my previous “stuff”, random is a word associated with me.
The plan was to keep all of this on the same page, with the most current at the top. The decision was made to post a headline on a month by month basis. I hope you will share your thoughts with me.
- One of the most important aspects of officiating is consistency. It could be the strike zone in baseball and softball, holding in football or contact in the paint in basketball. In soccer I believe the most important area to have consistency is the amount of physicality allowed. If you have never attended a high school soccer match there is a lot of contact. Of course my beef isn’t with an on-the-field issue. It is a very simple one. My research shows that a substitute can not enter the field until the player he is substituted for has left the pitch. This is according to USSF “laws”. At the high school level, some officials vigorously enforce this rule, while others allow subs to enter as the player removed is still on the field. Not surprisingly, the players are uncertain since the enforcement may be lax in one match and strict in the next. It makes no difference in the overall scheme of the contest. It is just one of those observations gleaned from walking the sideline.
- What does high school football, volleyball, and soccer have in common that tennis does not? All of the first three contests have officials, tennis does not. Players call the shots in or out and are responsible for keeping score. There is no unbiased third party to mediate disputes. With no official, who gets the blame when a dispute arises and your team ends up on the “wrong” end? I am hoping for a tennis season with no acrimony, but even though LOVE is a tennis term, I don’t feel it in the air.
- And on the subject of Girls Tennis, in general they do get somewhat of a raw deal in the Three Rivers Conference. With 10 teams, league play started Monday because the dual team playoffs begin October 17. While a few players get some type of instruction through the year, most coaches are still figuring out seeding as conference play opens.
- In the category of “beating a dead horse”, after checking with the NCHSAA on the requirement of reporting tennis scores by the day following a match, I learned there is no penalty for failing to do so. The reporting is necessary due to a new rule stating a player may not play up or down more than one seed from a preceding match. It reminds me of the baseball rule that only allows a team one offensive timeout per inning. There is no penalty for a second timeout. The umpire is supposed to keep it from occurring. It will be interesting to see if the lack of reporting causes a problem in tennis.
- I’ll have my predictions for this Friday night’s high school football games on this page Friday morning.
- Willie Gore’s retirement is regrettable, but understandable. Columbus County’s proximity to South Carolina and the apparent willingness to pay top of the scale for teachers with tons of North Carolina experience is too financially beneficial to not consider. While I don’t begrudge beginning teachers receiving a better starting salary, those who have given their lives to education in North Carolina should be rewarded as well.
- It seems the BB&T Football Jamboree Press Luncheon has become more of a formality than a celebration of the beginning of the football season. I don’t mean for that opinion to be construed as harsh criticism, just as an observation. I am sure it is difficult to keep it “fresh” after 31 years. I don’t fault anyone for no longer having an outside speaker come in. I’d rather see the monies the event raise benefit the schools. However, there is very little “meat” to what any of the coaches say. This would have been a great group to garner opinions on the state of high school football in 2018, how the concussion issues are changing the game and is there a solution to the reduced number of players involved. I TOTALLY understand the majority of the coaches preferring to NOT mention any specifics about the team or individuals. Fortunately the food and fellowship are good and worth taking the four hours or so out of your day (if outside New Hanover County) to attend.
- I expect to see some of the closest competition between county teams in Volleyball, Boys Soccer and Girls Tennis that we have seen in some time. Several of the sports named above have lost numerous key players to graduation.
- Seth Frankoff of the Doosan Bears in the Korean Baseball Organization was ejected from Saturday’s game after just two pitches! Frankoff’s second pitch of the game hit the opposing batter in the helmet. In the KBO this results in automatic ejection. According to reports, there had not been a previous issue and no malice was intended, but the Korean league rule calls for an ejection. See the video https://twitter.com/MyKBO/status/1025785411476570112 Frankoff leads the KBO with 15 victories.
- Interesting fact (to me anyway), WHS baseball coach Brett Harwood (8/3) and former assistant Bunky Williams (8/4) are on consecutive dates. Coach Bunk served Whiteville baseball well even though he was not a WCS employee nor did he have a child that was playing. Whiteville has been fortunate to have individuals willing to work in the baseball program due to their love of the game, not to gain recognition. Back in the day Guy Best was a similar individual. It certainly was nice to have a left-hander for BP when called on. He kept a “mean” scorebook as well. I wonder if his and Coach Hedgepeth’s birthdates are consecutive?
- It is somewhat strange to have a period during the year with no sports scores to report. I guess we can count our blessings from a sports schedule standpoint that we are not having to postpone athletic contests due to all the rain. I’m sure it has been a challenge for football, boys soccer and girls tennis teams. Bean Ransom is the only coach I know to ever have a volleyball match rained out back when he was at West Columbus. No doubt Will Dorn has the Whiteville X-Country team braving the elements.
- Speaking of postponing, when an event will be rescheduled at a later date/time I refer to it as postponed. If the contest is NOT going to played, it is cancelled. For the sake of clarity on my part, please try to differentiate between the two when corresponding about contests affected by the weather.
- South Columbus came up just short in the Dixie Softball Ponytails World Series. If my calculations are correct, half the squad will be back again next season with lots of World Series experience under their belts. In a July post, I gave the population figures for the areas the South Columbus and Alexandria teams draw from. It may be of little consolation to South’s players, coaches and fans, but it was a true battle of David and Goliath. Alexandria outscored its opponents 67-10. South Columbus accounted for 8 of those 10 runs and was the only team to go the full six innings of a game. Congratulations to all the youngsters and adults involved for a job well done.
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