Looking backward and forward makes me dizzy

Published 1:01 pm Tuesday, December 28, 2021

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Here we are again. Ready to welcome yet another new year, while reflecting on the events of the last 365 days. It might be just me, but 2021 seemed to fly by, despite the seemingly never-ending cloud of COVID-19.

Folks, the way to end the needless stress and misery associated with the pandemic is to get fully vaccinated. Future variants will have nowhere to land if everyone has their shots.

The COVID-19 virus will be with us forever, just like the flu and others that circulate seasonally, so you might as well accept a yearly booster. It’s not that big of a deal and it sure beats the alternative, in my mind anyway.

Enough of that. My wife, weary of yet another COVID rant, has pulled the soapbox from under me, so on to more pleasant topics.

Maybe having two high school football seasons in Beaufort County has made this year whiz past. It’s an unprecedented feat and one that hopefully won’t happen again. Of course, it makes up for the season we didn’t have in the fall of 2020. The highlights are many, so here’s just a few.

The year began with a truncated basketball season. The Northside girls advanced to the East finals, while Southside’s girls were in the semi-finals.

The Pam Pack boys made it to third round as well. Then, weirdly, it was time for football.

Northside made it all the way to the 1A state championship game, but fell short to traditional power, Murphy, in a defensive struggle.

I’ve spoken to several players on that squad since the game and all have said running through the tunnel at Carter-Finley Stadium was the highlight of their life so far. Here’s hoping that future success makes it one of many.

Speaking of highlights, Washington High School team members call the second half comeback and subsequent overtime victory over Kinston to win the conference title the craziest game they’ve played in.

I’ve been covering sports in various ways for almost 40 (!) years now and it ranks right up there for me too.

The final spring highlight came on a sunny Friday morning on the North Carolina A&T track in Greensboro, where erstwhile Northside softball player Kathleen Slade competed in the high jump.

Softball ended early because of COVID, so at the behest of teammate Caroline Boyd and veteran coach Bob Gerani, she decided to join the team for the final month.

Gerani told her to try the high jump and 30 or so days later, there she was, needing to clear the bar on her final attempt to win the state championship. She did and pandemonium broke loose among the Panthers fans and teammates who gathered to watch. Another remarkable accomplishment I was fortunate to witness.

I would be remiss in omitting WHS senior Mary Emma Holscher’s trip to the 2A state tennis tournament in the spring. Olivia Pastz and Katherine Pollock made it in the fall. Well done ladies.

Fall brought the most successful football season in county history as Southside’s only two losses were to Northside and all three teams made deep playoff runs.

Pam Pack star Terry Moore accepted Duke University’s scholarship offer and will head to Durham to begin his college adventure in a few days. More about him in this weekend’s edition.

Washington and Southside’s soccer teams made it to the second round of the playoffs and Seahawk senior Victor Gonzalez earned honorable mention All-State honors from HighschoolOT.com.

There are more, but space is short.

I deeply appreciate all the help county coaches have given me during this crazy sports year. It would be next to impossible to accomplish much without their cooperation and input.

I thank you most of all. There’s no reason for a sports page if nobody reads it. There’s plenty more to come in 2022. Happy New Year.