Time to audible

Published 10:17 am Wednesday, January 17, 2018

This column required an audible.

Originally, I had intended to write about the Alabama Sports Writers Association Player of the Year Luncheon. The event was scheduled to take place today in Montgomery, and I planned to attend.

Two Lanett players, Ty Truitt and Baraskious Dowdell, are finalists for the Class 2A Back and Lineman of the Year awards. But the gathering has been postponed due to winter weather and will now be held Jan. 30.

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I still plan to be there.

The luncheon, however, was not the only athletic-related event affected by the frosty conditions.  All of our local high school basketball teams either canceled or postponed their Tuesday night games.

Beulah, Chambers Academy, LaFayette and Valley did not play their road matchups. Lanett and Springwood did not defend their home courts.

That made for a quiet evening, which is a rare occurrence in the life of a sportswriter. Especially for one who is still learning a new terrain.

Since starting as The Valley Times-News sports editor two weeks ago, I have been on the go continually. There have been games to cover and meetings to attend.

But the fast pace has been enjoyable.

In a short period, I have met many people affiliated with the high schools in the Greater Valley Area. It has been neat to connect with administrators, coaches, athletes and fans, many of whom possess deep roots in their community.

I wrote in this column last week that everyone I met had been exceptionally welcoming. That has continued to be the case.

Administrators have set aside time from their busy schedules to chat. Coaches have given me tours of their campuses and facilities. Fans have come down from the bleachers to introduce themselves.

Collectively, their hospitality and outreach have enabled my first two weeks on the job to flow more smoothly than I could have imagined, even amid the business.

I thank them for helping me in this transition, and I thank you, the reader, for investing your time in my work.

I’ll do my best to keep producing thoughtful, compelling stories. Though sometimes I may need to audible.

Sam Chandler is sports editor of The Valley Times-News and can be reached by email at sam.chandler@valleytimes-news.com or by phone at 334-644-8106.