A few thoughts on several different topics of discussion
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.