A few thoughts on sev­eral dif­fer­ent top­ics of dis­cus­sion

Calhoun Times - - SPORTS WEDNESDAY -

To­day I want to say a lit­tle about sev­eral top­ics. By lit­tle, I mean a sim­ple com­ment or para­graph even though I could write a whole col­umn about each of the sub­jects I men­tion. Let me be­gin:

Coach Chad Hayes and his Lady Phoenix top seed from 6-AAA South

End­ing a sea­son as No. 1 in any di­vi­sion of play is never an easy task. I con­grat­u­late Coach Chad Hayes as he di­rected his Sono­rav­ille girls to the top spot in Re­gion 6-AAA South. His team will host North Mur­ray, the No. 4 team from 6-AAA North, on Tues­day at 3 p.m. for a dou­ble­header.

The Cal­houn Lady Jack­ets will travel to Coahulla Creek for games to be­gin at 5 p. m. Game 3 will be played in both se­ries on Wed­nes­day if nec­es­sary.

A true ri­valry: Cal­houn ver­sus Sono­rav­ille

Whether it is foot­ball, soft­ball, bas­ket­ball, base­ball, wrestling or vol­ley­ball, just say Cal­houn ver­sus Sono­rav­ille and you have an­nounced an in­tense pas­sion to win on the part of ei­ther team. There are other ar­eas of com­pe­ti­tion but these will suf­fice to make my point.

Since Sono­rav­ille ap­peared on the com­pet­i­tive scene the fire was quickly fu­eled to a high level of a de­sire to de­feat Cal­houn and the other way around. There is noth­ing wrong with want­ing to beat your next door neigh­bors.

The two very vis­i­ble sports dur­ing the Fall are soft­ball and foot­ball. Coach Hayes and Coach Diane Smith had split their two-game set with Sono­rav­ille win­ning 4-0 at home ear­lier and the Lady Jack­ets win­ning last week 3-2 on their field.

The ri­valry dis­plays the largest pas­sion when the two teams meet on the foot­ball field. It won’t be long be­fore the Phoenix and the Jack­ets clash in their an­nual re­gion bat­tle. Last week I used the cry orig­i­nated by loyal Phoenix fan Michael “Smi­ley” Haney “Bring on the Jack­ets.” It ap­pears Coach Pate has his team playing very good foot­ball, and the matchup will de­mand great sup­port from their fans.

Bat­tling the num­ber ones

There is no apol­ogy here for men­tion­ing Coach Diane Smith and her Lady Jacket soft­ball teams. This is not just a cur­rent con­sid­er­a­tion. It is one based on ob­ser­va­tions of play over the past 30- plus years and in­cludes years of slow-pitch and the cur­rent fast- pitch com­pe­ti­tion.

Decades ago, Coach Smith would en­ter her team in the sea­son-open­ing LFO slow­pitch tour­na­ment. This tour­na­ment brought the elite teams from all ar­eas of the state to play. For in­stance, Tifton, a le­gend in Ge­or­gia Slow-Pitch com­pe­ti­tion would be in the tour­na­ment. It was of­ten dif­fi­cult to come away with a vic­tory in the tour­na­ment. Many times the Lady Jack­ets would be the small­est clas­si­fi­ca­tion team in the tour­na­ment. When asked why she kept playing in the tour­na­ment, Coach Smith would say I wanted my girls to see what it was like to play good com­pe­ti­tion. Of­ten she would go on to cap­ture the re­gion cham­pi­onship.

The vet­eran coach’s at­ti­tude hasn’t changed. Just take a look at last week’s Grayson High tour­na­ment. When en­ter­ing the in­vi­ta­tional tour­na­ment Coach Smith asked to play two teams that most peo­ple play only if nec­es­sary to meet in re­gion or state play. Those teams were Bu­ford and East Coweta.

Now, some­one asks about those teams’ rank­ing. Lis­ten as I tell you Bu­ford is ranked No. 1 in Ge­or­gia in Class 5A and East Coweta is ranked No. 1 in Class 7A. Wait a mo­ment: let me amend that East Coweta rank­ing; their rank­ing was not only No. 1 in Ge­or­gia, they are ranked No. 1 in the United States. Talk about playing in “high cot­ton!”

A cou­ple of weeks ago the Lady Jack­ets de­feated Ge­or­gia’s No. 1-ranked Class AA out­stand­ing Rock­mart team in Gor­don Lee’s tour­na­ment for their sec­ond win over Rock­mart this sea­son.

The show the band put on Fri­day night

My great friend and Jim Reeves fan Michael Clark re­tired a cou­ple of years ago as band di­rec­tor at Cal­houn High School. Mike served un­der band di­rec­tor, the late Harold Sum­merville. Un­der both those out­stand­ing band di­rec­tors the Cal­houn band grew into one of the largest in the state. It was re­ported that when the Cal­houn Jack­ets played foot­ball in the Ge­or­gia Dome Mr. Clark’s March­ing Yel­low Jack­ets was the largest band to per­form dur­ing the play­offs re­gard­less of clas­si­fi­ca­tion.

When Mr. Clark re­tired his as­sis­tant di­rec­tor Larry Brown be­came band di­rec­tor. And look how the show has gone on! On Fri­day night, Mr. Brown and his as­sis­tant Sara Knapp put over 500 band mem­bers from Cal­houn High and Mid- dle School on the field. One com­ment will suf­fice: Fan­tas­tic.

What the fu­ture holds

The coaches, foot­ball play­ers, and cheer­lead­ers from the Cal­houn Recre­ation De­part­ment were rec­og­nized be­fore the foot­ball game on Fri­day night. The Gor­don County Recre­ation De­part­ment has a sim­i­lar night of recog­ni­tion some­time dur­ing the sea­son at both a Sono­rav­ille and a Gor­don Cen­tral game.

Also, some 140 cho­rus stu­dents from Cal­houn Ele­men­tary and Pri­mary School sang the Na­tional An­them be­fore the game.

It is only fair that I tell I did not see the fes­tiv­i­ties on Fri­day night about which I write. These nights have been wit­nessed by me in past years. Each year of view­ing, the fu­ture of ath­letic and mu­sic pro­grams in the city and county is greatly re­in­forced.

Four other top­ics

I made a list of nine top­ics about which I wanted to write. I dis­cussed five of them. Two of the omit­ted four top­ics were on hold from last week; maybe next week.

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