Summer time and the living is easier

Published 1:26 pm Tuesday, June 13, 2023

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School is out and so am I, at least for a while.

This was my favorite time of year when I was a kid and the last day of school was one of my favorite days of the year. Not that I hated school, it was actually the opposite, but I was ready for a different routine. After a couple of months, I was ready when the next school year rolled around.

That’s how it’s going to be this summer, at least the first part.

After three years without a vacation, it’s time for a good, long break.

Covering the exploits of Beaufort County athletes is a lot of fun, but one can stand only so many good times. It was another successful year for our county teams with plenty of appearances in various state tournaments.

The baseball and softball teams at Northside, Southside and Washington had good playoff runs and the Lady Raiders of Pungo Christian Academy brought home the school’s first softball state championship.

However, my time here has taught me that winning state championships is not really the point of high school athletics. It’s great when the Northside football team or the Washington softball team plays for a state title in a college venue, but that doesn’t happen every year. What does take place is kids having an opportunity to stay active and compete in a fun activity with their friends.

When I ask seniors about their career highlights, the first thing most of them mention is hanging out with their teammates. They also remember the daily practice routine with coaches and teammates who care. The term “family” comes up a lot. They do care about winning and losing and try to do their best, but the friendships made and life lessons learned are more important in the long run.

You’ll see my name a few more times, but hopefully not after next week.

You might remember seeing Sean Rocca’s name on this page since the first of last month.

Sean is our summer sports intern and will be writing about local athletes while I’m on break.

Sean is a senior Communications major at ECU with a concentration in journalism. He’s doing a fine job so far and is excited to have the opportunity. Be nice to him when you see him out and about.

Sean grew up in Norfolk and came to ECU to swim, but the school cut the men’s program right after he arrived. He liked the school well enough to stay and will graduate in December.

Amazingly, Sean’s dad also grew up in central Missouri and went to our rival high school. He also graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism shortly after I did. You could say that’s why we hired the kid, but you’d be wrong. I didn’t know any of this until I took Sean to lunch on his first day. Just another example of how interconnected all of us are.

I will still fulfill my other duties at the paper over the summer, so please continue to email me for submissions and when sports stories happen. Your tips have led to many great stories over the years, so keep them coming.

Enjoy your summer. I guarantee I will enjoy mine.