Incredible support for high school athletics

Published 8:18 pm Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Friends, families and sports enthusiasts consistently show their support for high school athletics in Beaufort County. Plenty made treks to Raleigh to watch Washington’s teams compete for state championships in soccer and swimming recently.

Such was the case for Southside’s football state semifinal showdown at Plymouth, too. Northside and Terra Ceia fans also packed out Northside’s gym a few months back to cheer on their respective teams in what turned out to be a classic showdown in the Christmas basketball tournament.

Perhaps no other turnout has been more impressive than the attendance for the championship game of the Northside Easter baseball tournament. It wasn’t the biggest crowd by any means, but dozens of folks eagerly watched a thrilling baseball game that didn’t wrap up until almost 1:30 a.m.

The players on the field are on spring break, meaning a lot of them were likely afforded the opportunity to sleep in the following morning. Their parents, however, probably had just a few short hours between the game’s conclusion and the beginning of their work shifts.

That didn’t affect their passion for the contest unfolding in front of them. The spectators were vocal about the thrilling game. They cheered each tying run and lead change and lightly heckled the officials, as is customary for such an intense game.

They were rewarded for their dedication, too. The game came down to the wire. The hosting Panthers were one out from winning the tournament title when Washington’s offense exploded for five two-out runs. The Pam Pack staved off a last-minute comeback attempt to hold on for the 8-6 win.

The game was one of the most entertaining of the baseball season thus far and certainly one for the books. As enjoyable as it was to watch, though, it better served as a reminder of the passion and dedication for athletics in Beaufort County. The raucous crowd, even in the wee hours of the morning, made for a better reward than the trophy that was on the line.