No break for jocks

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Nick Nunn

Nick Nunn

By Nick Nunn

I only realized that this week is Fall Break for the Morgan County School System on Monday, when I headed to the high school for my weekly interview with Coach Bill Malone.

Yep. It was about 2:30 Monday afternoon, and I came slowly over the little hill at the entrance of the high school’s parking lot to see… absolutely nothing. There wasn’t one car in the parking lot, and – for a split second – I was at a loss for a reasonable explanation for what was in front of my eyes.

My first thought was: Was there a bomb scare at the school?

Then reality came back and I remembered that it was that revered week that breaks up the monotony of school for every child from K to 12.

I used to like Fall Break so much that I would celebrate it by doing absolutely nothing for about nine days in a row, feeling that was the only proper way to show my respect for the holiday.

But you wouldn’t know that it is Fall Break by the sports schedule this week.

We’ve got three football games this week, just like any other, varsity softball began its playoff bid Monday with back-to-back games, and the Morgan County cross country team is hosting a home meet this Thursday.

Believe it or not, we are also only about a month away from the beginning of middle school basketball season as well, but that’s a different column.

Although I’m sure that I loved the way I was spending my Fall Breaks back when I was lucky enough to garner a week off just for being there. I don’t have the faintest memory of a single thing I did any of those wasted days and wasted nights.

And that’s exactly where the young athletes have the upper hand this week.

While many of their schoolmates are at home watching TV, sleeping late, or catching up on their studying (yeah, right), Morgan County’s athletes have a real shot at making lasting memories this Fall Break.

By next week and then in the years to come, they’ll remember this week as the time the team advanced deeper into the playoffs and made it to the state tournament; or the time they came out of their last regular season game undefeated; or the time that they got to beat the team that just narrowly outplayed them the year before.

Or, in any of these cases, the week that they didn’t.

At this point, who knows what the teams will have to look back on next week? But that’s part of the glory; that they get to stand out there on the field and have an active hand in the outcome.

They’ll remember this week because they had a controlling stake in a game that amounted to something in their lives, and, because of that, they’ll have the better week than their friends at home.

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