When the calendar moved from winter to spring, I don’t know if there were many as excited as myself.
In part, such glee had something to do with the cornucopia of activities accompanying this time of year – particularly at the high school level.
I mean, just a simple look at The Sun News’ rundown of events taking place on a daily basis. Local sports fans must give the coin a proverbial flip in an effort to decide which of these events to attend.
On an given night, there will be a track meet or golf event, as well as tennis, soccer or lacrosse matches. But just as the big ticket in fall is football or basketball holds a tight grip on the winter months, so does baseball and softball in the spring.
That’s not to say any of the other athletic events lacks importance, being an advocate for anything that keeps one active and competitive – traits necessary for longevity in life along with the wherewithal to succeed in the ever-evolving world of business. But over time, they’ve firmly entrenched themselves as the bell cows synonymous with this time of year.
And boy, does this area have quite a bit to offer in that regard.
During the course of the season, we’ve seen the likes of Carolina Forest and Waccamaw ascend to the top spot in their respective classifications in baseball, while Aynor has done its part on the diamond to ensure no one forgets what it is capable of.
In some ways, it is a tad funny those story lines have done their part to trump the utter chaos that is Region VII-AAA, whose parity no matter the sport is beyond explanation.
Back to the Blue Jackets, though; their softball team continues to impress, coming into the week undefeated in Region VIII-AA play.
To this point, a healthy dozen area baseball or softball teams have earned postseason berths. Expect plenty more with the season in its homestretch.
This week itself will offer plenty of jewels, but at the center of it all will be Aynor, which has the opportunity to finish an unblemished region slate in both baseball and softball.
To do that, tough matchups against Dillon and Waccamaw await both. But as they say, the best things in life never come easily.
Also, should the chips fall in a certain way Tuesday night, rivals Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach could find themselves playing for a league crown on the baseball diamond.
Less than two months ago, their two boys basketball programs tussled for the Region VII-AAA title, with the Chiefs earning the nod. Needless to say, should things occur in that manner, Friday night in Little River has all the possibilities of being an intense affair.
Regardless of the sport, though, with time winding up in the spring athletic schedule, lend some support to these young athletes showcasing their talents. It’s something they don’t have to do, but want to … and there’s something to be said about that.
Of note ...
This week has all the inklings of an important one for the Coastal Carolina baseball team, making the trip to Chapel Hill, N.C., to take on North Carolina on Tuesday night before returning to Conway for a matchup with instate rival College of Charleston a mere 24 hours later. To end the week, the Chanticleers will host High Point for a 3-game series in Big South play. If not making the trip to Springs Brooks Stadium for this week of games, it may be worth it at Coastal Carolina will not return for another home contest until May 15. … The NBA playoffs continue first-round play, with all eyes on the Golden State Warriors and the team’s quest to follow-up a record-setting 73-win campaign with a second consecutive NBA title. Nevertheless, San Antonio, Oklahoma City and the L.A. Clippers remain viable threats out west, while LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers continue to sharpen their swords in preparation for another run at the throne. … Lest we forget about what is taking place on the ice, the President’s Trophy recipients – the Washington Capitals – have taken a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff matchup with Philadelphia. A team often criticized for its ability to underwhelm in the biggest moments, this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs could finally be when they get the proverbial monkey off their back. However, no postseason tournament proves to be as unpredictable as the NHL’s, so let’s see how this one plays out. … And while everyone’s attention was diverted elsewhere, my Atlanta Braves actually won a game. Clap for ‘em y’all, we may not get to 100 losses after all.