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Another school year is upon us

Parking spaces were hard to find Wednesday morning at the LaFayette Lanier School. They were all taken in front of the school, beside the school, down the hill from the school, across the road from the school and behind the Cotton Duck. It happens once a year, teacher orientation day. If it’s early August and you see that many cars at LaFayette Lanier you know a new school year is about to start.

Here’s hoping it will be a good one for the Chambers County School District, Lanett, Beulah, Troup County, Springwood School, Chambers Academy, Acts Academy, Temple Christian School and any other school local kids attend.

We also know a new school year is upon us when there are book bag giveaways. There can’t be too many of these. I like what Rev. Matthew Thrower of Point Refuge Church said about this: “The more the merrier.”

Those who are behind the wheel in the morning when the school buses are on the road and in the afternoons when the school children are on the way home, please be careful, pay attention and keep your eyes on the road. Let’s not mar the school year at the start with an avoidable tragedy.

Pretty soon it will be high school football season, one of my favorite tunes of the year. I have seven favorite teams: the Lanett Panthers, the Valley Rams, LaFayette Bulldogs, Troup Tigers, Beulah Bobcats, Springwood Wildcats, and Chambers Academy Rebels. I’ve been on the sidelines many times at all of these schools since the 1980s. I want to thank each and every one of these schools on having given me such welcoming treatment on every visit. Win or lose, the hospitality has always been great. The food is great, and it’s so rewarding to see our local young people putting on a show with their play on the field, in the band section and cheerleading.

The unpleasant times I’ve had at local high school games have nothing to do with the people there. It’s the times I’ve been too close to the sidelines taking pictures and have gotten knocked for a loop because I was slow footed and didn’t get out the way of a play that came that way. It’s so good when the local team you’re covering wins. Everyone’s smiling, there’s a lot of chatter and high fiving on part of the players and the coaches tell you how much they love The Valley Times. When the players hurt with a loss, you hurt with them.

Here’s hoping all our teams have good seasons.

I’ve been with The VT-N since 1989. My first assignment was to cover a Troup High football game in the pouring-down rain. I remember they were playing a team from Cordele, and I kept thinking, “Why couldn’t all this rain have fallen down there earlier this year when they needed it for watermelon season?”

In all the years I’ve been here I’ve been associated with a lot of local high school football editions. From past experience, I know that lots of blood, sweat and tears go into such publications. I’ve been proud of each and every one of them, but never more proud than the one we’re coming out with this year. Our sports editor, Rashad Milligan, managing editor, Steven Thomas, and publisher, Baker Ellis all did great work for it.

I hope you enjoy it. If not, I’m sure you will let me hear about it at the next game.

Just don’t roll it up and hit me in the back of the head with it like that disgruntled fan did in Beulah one night.