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Savoring the slower pace

All high schools in the Greater Valley Area have been off this week for spring break. That has made for an unusually quiet five days on the high school sports scene.

With the exception of a couple baseball teams, every other spring squad has resigned from competition until Monday.

Because I primarily cover prep sports, the break in events has provided me extra time to take care of a few things around the office.

I have been able to organize my schedule, knock out a couple of lingering tasks and touch base with folks I had been meaning to contact.

The reprieve has been a welcome deviation from the norm. From the day I started at The Valley Times-News in January, I have been on the move.

There have been people to meet, games to cover and stories to tell. There was even a championship run to chronicle in February and early March when the Lanett High School basketball team surged to a third consecutive state title.

Following the Panthers’ historic tear mandated early morning and late night trips to Jacksonville and Birmingham, along with fast writing under deadline pressure.

Don’t get me wrong: I have relished the opportunity to write about such noteworthy events, and I have enjoyed plugging into the local community.

But this week has given me a chance to recharge my batteries. My nights have ended earlier, and my schedule has featured consistency. That doesn’t happen too often in sports journalism.

Once sporting events resume next week, I will be re-energized and ready to tackle game, match and meet coverage. A little more than one month remains in the spring sports season. Steadily, local squads are approaching their peaks.

I am eager to see how each one fares down the stretch. Many have shown great promise in the first half of their campaigns and appear poised to contend in their respective classifications.

I look forward to sharing synopses and snapshots from the forthcoming schedule. 

Until Monday, however, I’m going to savor the slower pace.

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