Column: 'The Sports Trail' - County spring sports wind down just in time, and so does Dave

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's almost unbelievable, but the current high school sports year here in Carroll County is just about over.

That's right. No more spring sports, with the exception of the state decathlon event in Cabot this week, which two Highlander athletes are competing in.

Senior Jacob Worley and junior Dustin Morrell will have another go at it after finishing in the middle of the pack last year. How good was that finish?

They practiced two days. Yes, they were in shape from track, and yes they both played basketball all year, but being good at 10 different events over two days takes endurance, skill, and practice.

Jacob, a hurdler and high jumper, picked up a pole vault pole that week for his first serious attempt at the event. And while Dustin was a sprinter and pole vaulter, he hadn't worked on the shot and discus.

Both showed their athletic ability by finishing in the top 25 or so out of 50.

This year it's different. Dustin went on a diet before the district tournament because he had outgrown the weight limit on his pole. Slimmed down, he went 11-9, his best ever.

If he stays with the diet through the decathlon, his hurdle times should improve, along with the vault. Jacob has more time to practice this year, as the 2A State meet was a week-and-a-half ago.

Even though the county's spring teams are through with regional and state competition, baseball and softball playoffs are still going on.

It makes me glad the Arkansas Activities Association moved the season back two weeks, allowing most teams to wrap up seasons by the end of April. Now kids won't have to decide if they want to miss graduation or go compete in a state meet, which happened around here quite often in years past.

The main reason I'm glad is that a cold weather front dashed in last Friday, just in time to freeze fans at the regional softball and baseball games in Harrison, not to mention youth programs.

Berryville fans brought coats and blankets, but that wind cut right through, especially when the sun ducked behind a nearby hill. With rain and thunderstorms in the forecast for most of the week, I'm glad teams aren't having to cram games in.

I've spent most of the year dashing madly from game to game trying to cram in some coverage for everyone, but my job this time of year runs into a bigger crash than the one we just went through.

With pages filled up Monday, and limited material for Friday's issue, the race to keep up is over. Now it's fishing and golf tournaments, mostly on weekends, some youth baseball or softball, and the occasional ball camp.

I always look forward to things slowing down, which usually lasts about two weeks. Then the great hunt begins, the search for strictly Carroll County news.

I won't have to hunt this year as my time here at the newspaper is about over. Alice and I are retiring in a few weeks and we'll be kicking back this summer, at least for a while.

We've got places we want to see, grandkids to play with, and good books to read. Why, we might even just do nothing, nothing at all.

In a few weeks, you understand. No rush here.

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