Pat's Reporter Blog

Sports Editor’s Playbook, 2013 year-end edition

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
Patrick Newell

Knowing that this is my final winter sports season at The Evening Sun, we’re beginning to wax nostalgic. As 2013 comes to a close, I have reviewed some of the highlights of the previous 12 months of high school sports, and have pinpointed those moments here. We start with the end of the 2012-2013 winter sports season, and bring you through to December 2013. Not every sport is recounted, but that does not diminish the accomplishments of those not mentioned here.

    Winter Sports (January-March)

Wrestling
A half-dozen local wrestlers finished among the top six in the state at the 2013 New York State Division II Wrestling Championships. Norwich’s Frank Garcia and Tristan Rifanburg along with Greene’s Christian Dietrich were one move away from winning state titles, but settled for runner-up finishes. All three are back this year, and are among the favorites in Feb. 2014. Also placing in the state tournament were Greene’s Mike Beckwith, and B-G/Afton’s Mark Viviano and Chris Cirigliano.

Girls’ Basketball
Unadilla Valley finished with its best record in school history (15-2), and captured the Midstate Athletic Conference championship beating Unatego. The Storm, though, ran into formidable opposition in Section IV tournament play facing Harpursville in the opening round. Harpursville survived a last-second UV shot attempt to prevail by two, and went on to win the Section IV crown and advance to the Class C state finals. Although it made an abrupt departure from the postseason, the Storm were among the best Class C teams in the state.

Boys’ Basketball
Norwich overcame a number of injuries and illnesses to claim it second straight Section IV Class B title beating Whitney Point by 22 points. In intersectional play, the Tornado made a strong second-half rally against Westhill only to fall a point short of reaching the state semifinals. Through the first month of the 2013-2014 season, Norwich is again on top of its game entering January 2014 with a perfect 6-0 mark.

Boys’ Swimming
Norwich threatened to win a division title, was third in the Section IV Class B meet, and had a number of top-five individual finishes. The Tornado have continued that momentum to start the 2013-2014 season, and again could challenge for a division championship.

Indoor Track and Field
On the same weekend Norwich’s basketball team was winning a sectional championship, Norwich junior Matt Murray became the best 600-meter sprinter in the state. Murray became the first Norwich athlete to win an indoor track and field state title when he won the 600 meters in early March. If he decides to defend that title this season, he is the odds-on favorite.
 

    Spring Sports (April-June)

Track and Field
The largest accumulation of standout athletic performances this past spring came on the track. Norwich’s Murray and Brooke Bonney won sectional titles, as did B-G/Afton’s Julia Knapp. All three also placed in the Division II state meet. Knapp was fifth in the 100-meter hurdles; Murray took fifth in the 800 meters; and Bonney was fifth in the discus and sixth in the shot put. All three was also champions in their league and class meets. Additionally, Unadilla Valley’s Dylan Thomsen continued to set new records in the distance events, and won a MAC title in the 1,600 meters with a school-record time.

Golf
Norwich repeated as Class B champion taking the team title by a whopping 16 shots. The Tornado linksters were led by overall low medalist, junior Corey Johnson, who shot a 3-over-par 73 at Maple Hill Golf Club.

Softball
G-MU’s girls had the best season amongst the area teams that we cover. The Raiders finished with double-digit wins and won a first-round sectional postseason game before falling to eventual Section IV Class D champion Afton.

Baseball
While no team in Chenango County advanced past the quarterfinal round of the playoffs, we did see one of the most impressive seasons turned in by a Norwich pitcher in some time. Hurling against some of the best hitting teams in New York, junior left-hander Cody Barnes had the highest single-season strikeout total by an NHS pitcher in over 25 years striking out 81 in 40 innings, while also recording all five of Norwich’s victories.

    Fall Sports (August-November)

Football
Sherburne-Earlville claimed a division title in Section III play, earned its highest state ranking, and hosted its first playoff game since joining Section III in 2002. The Marauders finished with a 7-1 record, its best mark in 11-man football in over 40 years. Norwich qualified for the postseason a fifth straight season, but suffered an opening-round playoff defeat to Johnson City

Boys’ Soccer
Greene won yet another MAC league championship, remained unbeaten through the regular season and first two rounds of the postseason before losing in the Class C semifinals – by a single goal – to Marathon.

Girls’ Soccer
Greene senior Paige Wilcox built on her all-time scoring mark finishing with nearly 150 career goals, the highest known total in Chenango County history.

Girls’ Tennis
Norwich coasted to a STAC East division title, and lost just two matches the entire season.

Field Hockey
Greene again advanced to the Section IV finals, but missed intersectional play for the first time since 2005 losing to Whitney Point by a single goal.

Girls’ Swimming
Oxford’s Abby Voce had the top individual performance at the class meets. The eighth-grader was second overall in the 50-yard freestyle.

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Sports Editor’s Playbook, Dec. 17, 2013

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013
Patrick Newell

For the first time in the 30-plus-year history of the Norwich Pennysaver Girls Basketball Tournament, a champion was not crowned. Held last weekend, the longtime event – one that we at The Evening Sun cover extensively – was reduced to three teams when Vestal bowed out of the tournament. Norwich coach Josh Bennett said Vestal officials gave notice in late November. With winter schedules set months in advance, it was impossible to scramble for a fourth team to fill the unexpected vacancy.
As we said, no tournament champion, no all-tournament team, and for first-time tournament entries Utica Proctor and New Hartford, just one game instead of the two that were scheduled. It’s not the first impression you want to make when welcoming newcomers to your tournament, and both schools would be justified in not returning.
The reason for Vestal pulling its girls out of the tournament was a conflict with another school event. Not another sporting event, state testing or even an emergency school assembly. A high school with an enrollment pushing 1,200 kids pulled its 20 to 30 junior varsity and varsity girls out of a two-day event for a school dance.
Yes, you read that right.
“Both Joe (Downey, Norwich athletic coordinator) and I made countless calls and emails (to Vestal) to confirm everything,” Bennett said last weekend.
Bennett was furious with how the tournament played out, but after long discussions with the Utica Proctor and New Hartford coaches, hopes those schools will return to next year’s tournament.
It’s safe to conclude Vestal will not be invited back. One of the core principles of athletics is making a commitment – mind and body – to your team. When you’re school does not honor all of its commitments, what message does that send to the kids?

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Norwich adjusts on the fly

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
Patrick Newell

Norwich varsity boys’ basketball coach, Tom Collier, said he was in the unfamiliar position of not having a scouting report on Whitney Point. Sure, the Tornado met the Golden Eagles in the Section IV Class B championship game last season, but only two starters from that team returned, and Point had won its first two games this season by an average of 30 points.
In Saturday’s Tom Schwan Tournament opener, Norwich and Whitney Point traded baskets for about a quarter and a half. “It was kind of like two boxers feeling each other out,” Collier said in describing the early play. “We weren’t sure of the type of stuff they would be running, so we made adjustments until we figured it out.”
The tenor of the game changed quickly. Soon after Whitney Point made a tying three to make it 18-18, Norwich shifted to another gear. Over the final half of the second quarter, Norwich scored 16 unanswered points, and rolled into halftime with a 34-18 lead. Storm Cook fueled the Norwich offense early in the game with his aggressive play under the basket, but it was the guards – Mike Sutton, Matt Burke, Chris Trevisani, and Carlos Ithier – who sparked the offensive eruption.
The momentum of the second quarter carried over well into the third quarter. When Mike Oralls made a layup with 2:30 left in their quarter – the final two points of his 20-point evening – Norwich had stretched its lead to 64-26. Doing the math, over a 9 1/2-minute span, the Purple Tornado outscored the Golden Eagles, 44-8. “Let me tell you, Whitney Point is a good team, and they’ll win a lot of games this season,” Collier said. “We started pushing the ball on offense, and they just weren’t able to match up with us.”
Collier said he also made an adjustment in Norwich’s full-court pressure, one that led to numerous Whitney Point turnovers. Those turnovers were converted into easy buckets. “We just throw waves of players at people, and we wear teams into submission,” Collier said. “We had a lot of good players last year, and I think we have even more this year.”
Chenango Forks is next on the docket for Norwich, who play at the Blue Devils tonight.

Clyde Cole Tournament notes
After marking its golden anniversary last season, the Clyde Cole Wrestling Tournament entered the first year of the next 50 this past weekend at Oxford. Before the finals, the Oxford Rotary, sponsors of the tournament, honored former Oxford teacher and coach – and current Section IV sports coordinator – Ben Nelson with its yearly dedication. It was a well deserved honor for Nelson, who has helped promote high school athletics for over 45 years.
One thing to note in the tournament is the official tournament program, one that is extensively detailed with pictures and tournament statistics. Within those statistics is a listing of every person who has won a tournament title since its inception. According to the program, only two athletes have won six Clyde Cole titles, and both wrestled during my tenure at the paper. Oxford’s own, J.P. O’Connor, was a champion from 2000-2005. O’Connor would also win four state titles, and eventually a national collegiate title his senior year at Harvard. Eric Decker of Unatego and later B-G/A also won six Clyde Cole titles. Decker also became the first Section IV wrestler to win six Section IV championships. Decker went on to win three state championships.
I did locate one interesting tidbit. Before Tristan Rifanburg won a state title for Norwich four seasons ago, the most outstanding NHS wrestler I covered was Joe Downey. In his freshman and sophomore years at the CC, Downey ran into a Queensbury wrestler, Dan Stine, who would win one state championship and earn a Division One wrestling scholarship. Downey missed the Clyde Cole tourney his junior year due to injury, but came back his senior year to win his lone Clyde Cole title. That Downey captured just one Clyde Cole tournament speaks to the depth of wrestling talent this yearly event has brought to Chenango County for over half a century.

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Sports Editor’s Playbook, Dec. 2, 2013

Monday, December 2nd, 2013
Patrick Newell

What a weekend for football – except for my beloved Bills, who bungled a loss out of possible victory.
It was rivalry weekend in college football, and although I prefer the pro game, how could one not appreciate the drama that unfolded? The glitter of my night turned to gold in the “Iron Bowl” as Auburn knocked off number one Alabama in one of the most dramatic endings in recent memory. To sum up:  Alabama missed a long game-winning field attempt that was retrieved nine yards deep in the endzone by the Tigers’ Chris Davis. Davis made a couple of nice moves – certainly nothing Barry Sanders-like – to avoid the lumbering ‘Bama field goal team, and ran 109 yards for the game-winning points. I bear no allegiance to anything in the state of Alabama, but I joined with the millions watching the with a victory lap around my living room. It got better on Sunday because of the local flavor that aired on Time Warner’s local sports station. Over a year ago, my cable package was realigned based on the the digitizing of certain channels. For my purposes, out went the Golf Channel, and in came TWS. The lineup change was well worth it Sunday afternoon as Time Warner aired the New York State football championship games. Chenango Forks beat Rye Neck in the C final, while Maine-Endwell rallied to beat Schalmont in the B title tilt. On their roads to state title games, Forks and M-E beat local teams in lopsided fashion. One of our area coaches was not entirely impressed by the Blue Devils, although he probably could be persuaded to change that opinion now. In an interesting coincidence, the final determining play was a two-point conversion attempt in the final moments. Chenango Forks stopped Rye Neck’s two-point try to take the lead, while Maine-Endwell – after scoring with four seconds left in the fourth quarter – went for two and the win. The Spartans did everything wrong in the first half except for a key defensive stop or two. Even after failing to capitalize on Schalmont’s fumble to start the third quarter, these Spartans showed remarkable resolve.
M-E senior quarterback Kyle Gallagher drove his team 75 yards for a score in less than 90 seconds, the last a four-yard scoring toss to Jake Sinicki. The Spartans sent out kicker Stephen Pham for the tying extra point, but Schalmont called timeout to ice the kicker. In the pro game, I have yet to see a team try to ice the kicker on an extra point, but hey, this is high school football. Giving an extra minute, the M-E coaching staff reconsidered, and came back out with its regular offense. With everything on the line – an unbeaten season, 37 straight wins, and a possible third straight state title -  M-E pulled off the gutsy move when Gallagher found a wide-open Darnell Woolfolk for the two-point toss. I guess Woolfolk was not supposed to run a pass pattern, but after some brief scrambling by Gallagher, drifted to an unattended spot. It was a perfect ending to a third straight perfect season for the Spartans.
If only the Bills could hang on to the ball.
 
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Sports Editor’s Playbook, Nov. 21, 2013

Thursday, November 21st, 2013
Patrick Newell

Dave Kelly was coaching varsity high school football two years before I was born. The second winningest coach in Section IV history announced his retirement this week, according to a Daily Star report. Kelly has patrolled the Delhi sidelines for nearly five decades, and of his 272 career wins, dozens have come against Chenango County football brethren. Kelly stepping down brings me back to my first memories of Delhi football.
My first year on the job,1995, Delhi was the cream of the crop among Class C teams in Section IV. The opening weekend of my first season – 1995 – Delhi began with a 53-0 thumping of B-G/Afton. Three weeks later, in the annual grudge match with Walton, Delhi blasted the Warriors, 40-0. At that time, I didn’t know a heck of a lot about Section IV football outside of Norwich, but I was quite familiar with Walton’s winning tradition. In fact, Walton was coming off a Class C state championship just one year earlier. That blowout was an eye-opener for everyone around Section IV.
Delhi was still unbeaten when I saw the Dave Kelly-led Bulldogs visit Greene for the Trojans’ season finale. It was a mauling from the outset as Delhi cruised into the postseason blasting Greene, 52-0. I surmised, at the time, that it would take a great team to top Delhi. Turns out, there were multiple teams out there as good or better than Delhi.
Following the completion of the football season – for area teams, at least – I went to my first state tournament playoff game riding along with the late Tom Schwan. First, we watched Deposit beat Weedsport in the Class D quarterfinal with the Class C game – Delhi versus Dolgeville – to follow. It was a slugfest, one that was decided by one point as Dolgeville handed the Bulldogs their lone loss of the season, 7-6. Dolgeville ended up losing a week later to eventual state champion Leroy. After watching Delhi rip through what I thought was a decent Greene team, it was my belief that Delhi was a state title contender. However, I wound up learning an important lesson: There are different levels of “good.”
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Two Norwich girls sports teams had brushes with greatness this past fall sports season. The NHS soccer team lost to Oneonta in convincing fashion, and the volleyball squad was toppled by Owego. At last weekend’s state championships, Oneonta captured the Class B state title. Likewise, Owego won a state title. The latter club I was fortunate to see in a late-season Norwich home game. I missed the opening game, one in which the Indians captured the set, 25-6. With Owego subbing liberally in the next two games, Norwich closed the gap significantly, but was still swept in all three sets. I suppose the set not seen was the best determinant of the Indians’ abilities, one predicated on fine passing and a dominant net game led by 6-foot-3 middle hitter Rachel Merrill. Norwich fans will get another look at Merrill this winter when Owego’s basketball team visits the Tornado.

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Tioga’s win over Unatego: One for the record books

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
Patrick Newell

I tuned in to WCDO FM’s Saturday afternoon broadcast of the Tioga-Unatego Section IV Class D championship game. My old friend, play-by-play man Harry Graves, was on the air killing some minutes during halftime. Before heading to commercial, he announced the score at halftime: Tioga 59, Unatego 12. Huh? I thought I misheard Harry until he repeated the score before the third-quarter kickoff. Wow, I thought, then quickly concluded that this was yet another blowout for the Tigers, so I switched the channel. Sorry Harry.
You may be wondering why am I devoting space in my blog to two teams with only tangential connections to Chenango County football. The answer lies in my affinity for statistics – and Tioga and Unatego beat a couple of our area teams this season quite handily.
Saturday evening, I looked up the final scores of Section IV championship football games (there were other games scheduled other than Tioga-Unatego). As expected, Chenango Forks rolled past Waverly in the Class C final, and U-E and Vestal’s clash in the Class A title game ended in a close U-E win. As for the Class D game that I wrote off, the final was 80-53. I told my stepson the score, and he asked me if Tioga’s basketball team was good. The implication: He thought I was giving him a hoops score.
The basketball season is still three to four weeks away for most teams, and I’m not sure if Tioga’s basketball team is any good, but I know its football team is among the favorites in the state playoffs this year. That despite the amazing second-half statistical performance of Unatego’s offense.
Granted, the Spartans amassed a large chunk of their points – and yards – against Tioga’s second and third string defense, but those statistics are straight out of a video game. Tioga’s numbers were pretty darn impressive as well, especially with the starting unit calling it a day after two quarters.
For the game, the two clubs racked up over 1,200 yards of total offense in 48 minutes of play. That equates to 25 yards of offense per minute and projects to over 1,500 yards of offense in an NFL-length game. Tioga’s first string offense scored on its first seven possessions accumulating nearly 400 yards in the first half alone, and it rushed for over 600 yards in the game. Mind you, the second unit had over 200 rushing yards in the second half.
On the flip side, Unatego was in hurry-up pass mode the entire second half, all of it engineered by sophomore quarterback Josh Feyerabend. Feyerabend drew raves from our area coaches this past season, and all he did was set a state record for passing yards in a game. Feyerabend completed 12 passes in the second half for 356 yards, and he finished with 581 yards passing and seven TD passes. According to reports, five Unatego receivers had at least 80 receiving yards, and four of those TD passes went for 45 yards or more. Best stat of all; Feyerabend is just a sophomore. “The scariest thing about (Feyerabend) is that not only a sophomore, but he’s that calm and that good,” said Unadilla Valley varsity football coach, Mark Segina. “Granted, (Feyerabend) has a couple great receivers, but he throws the ball on the rope, and he can also gash you on the read option.”
Segina, whose team lost to Unatego last month, said he has studied Unatego’s offense, and says has no problem filching plays from the Spartans to make his club better. Sounds like a good idea.

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Sports Editor’s Playbook, Nov. 8, 2013

Friday, November 8th, 2013
Patrick Newell

The last we saw of Norwich basketball, the boys’ team was in the throes of another second-half comeback, a rally that fell a bucket shy of reaching the team’s ultimate goal: A trip to Glens Falls and the Class B final four.
It was Norwich’s fourth intersectional state playoff game since the Purple Tornado won back-to-back state championships in 1993 and 1994. All four of those games have ended in defeat, but that one-point loss to Westhill – 59-58 – was easily the closest Norwich has come to victory.
Collier said that nine players on this year’s 13-player squad have varsity experience, and seven of those veterans were instrumental figures in last year’s playoff run. That said, all of that experience is no guarantee Norwich will get another shot at a state playoff run.
“I’ve seen a few people who have told me they believe we’re the team to beat this year,” Collier said. “I tell people, ‘we’ll see.”
Indeed, Collier is quick to mention last year’s team chemistry and incredible leadership of departed seniors Kyle Edwards, Grant Brightman, and Danny Carson. Edwards was last year’s leading scorer, and all three were tremendous on the defensive end of the floor. Can this year’s team recreate last year’s dynamic that was a confluence of talent, chemistry, leadership, and intangibles?
Defense remains the Tornado’s calling card. In Collier’s two years at the helm, Norwich has held opponents under 50 points more often than not. While the wins have not always look pretty, Collier anticipates an offense that could be more explosive. In next week’s sports section, we’ll take a more in-depth look at this year’s Norwich club as it vies for a third straight sectional championship.

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If you get an opportunity, look up “The Medicine Game” on the Internet. It’s a story of Native Americans Jerome and Jeremy Thompson and their quest to play for Syracuse University’s acclaimed lacrosse team. The documentary is filmed over a seven-year period, and was written, directed and produced by Oxford Academy graduate Lukas Korver and his partner Jason Halpin. The film has already aired on PBS, and may still be available for viewing on the Internet.
Korver, a graduate of SU’s Newhouse School, was honored last month when his film won the Clyde Scott Award for best sports feature at the 22nd Annual Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival. We hope to track Korver down next week for an interview. Said Lukas’s brother Erik, who was credited with the film’s still photography: “Lukas put his life into (that film) for those seven years. We are all pretty proud of him.”

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Sports Editor’s playbook, Oct. 30, 2013

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
Patrick Newell

Hard to believe time has flown by so quickly, and it seems one sports season blends into another. I was still in the mindset that Norwich varsity tennis players Breanna Cashman and Jennifer Borfitz were still juniors, and had another year to compete for a sectional championship.
I snapped out of it when head coach John Stewart called Monday afternoon as a follow-up to his phone message Sunday. “Those two “seniors” and their impact on the program the past three years is still being felt,” Stewart told me.
Cashman and Borfitz were Johnny-come-latelys to tennis after playing other sports through their freshmen years. In their first year, 2011, they played as Norwich’s top regular season doubles team, and posted a nice winning record on a club that had Class B champions Bryn Loomis and Sophie Stewart.
With graduation comes promotion, and the two netters moved up to second and third singles a season ago. Again, winning records followed, and the duo made a nice run at doubles in 2012 sectional play.
Borfitz and Cashman jumped to first and second singles for all but a handful of matches his year on a team that lost just one match the entire regular season, and one in the STAC playoffs. Norwich won a division championship, and was one point from winning a Class B sectional title. Not a bad finish for a Tornado team led by a pair of seniors who never played competitive tennis until two-plus years ago. “I just wanted to say goodbye to my seniors because they made a big difference in our tennis program,” Stewart said, who added that Norwich may not have been a .500 team without them. “It will be sad to see them go.”

Wrestling, similar to every other sport these days, is a 12-month commitment to attain excellence. Evidence: Norwich junior Tristan Rifanburg. Rifanburg added to his prodigious list of accomplishments winning “The Freak Show” out in Las Vegas this past weekend. Facing many of the best high school wrestlers west of the Mississippi, Rifanburg dominated the competition winning five matches by a combined 36-2 score. Those victories were capped by a 6-0 decision in the 138-pound high school elite finals. The story appears in Wednesday’s sports report. Rifanburg, a state champion as a seventh-grader, was just a few seconds away from a state title this past winter, and he should be considered a favorite this coming season.

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Sports Editor’s Playbook, Oct. 11, 2013

Friday, October 11th, 2013
Patrick Newell

Last weekend Unadilla Valley captured its Kick for the Cure boys soccer tournament beating rival Bainbridge-Guilford in the finals. While the victory was sweet, the premise behind the tournament – recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month – helped raise money for the Danielle House in Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton. UV head coach Ryan Houck was a driving force behind the tournament, and the charity for which the donations will be sent was particularly meaningful to the Storm mentor. Houck’s own mother is a breast cancer survivor who used the Danielle House during her recovery. Houck’s leadership and civic awareness will surely trickle down to his charges, who by the way, have fancied a pretty nice 2013 season. Houck is also happy to report that his mother has recovered nicely, another big win for the UV community.

Winning is the best recruiter
We’ll find out this weekend if the Norwich girls tennis team will add a Class B title to its 2013 STAC division title. The Tornado netters placed juniors Breanna Cashman and Jenni Borfitz in the finals after Thursday’s first round, and freshman Makenzie Maynard is playing for third place. All three came up through the Norwich system playing other sports, but switched to tennis. And why not? Head coach John Stewart has churned out winning season after winning season – for boys and girls – and the hanging of championship banners has become the norm rather than the exception.

Down year for local football?
Seems that way if overall records are an indication. We have documented Sherburne-Earlville’s 5-0 start to the season and a number 15 state ranking in Class C. The other five local football teams have compiled a combined 7-18 mark for a winning percentage of 28 percent. B-G’s and Greene’s respective streaks of winning seasons are in serious jeopardy. One more loss for the Bobcats (1-4) will snap a seven-year skein, while Greene (2-3) needs to win three of its final four games to extend an eight-year streak.

Follow Patrick Newell on Twitter @evesunpat

My streak is over

Friday, October 4th, 2013
Patrick Newell

My streak is over.
For 18-plus years, I have made my way into work each morning, flipped on the computer, and started the design of that day’s sports section. Earlier this week, I had some elective surgery to repair a chronic issue, and missed work on Monday and Tuesday. While Monday’s paper was chock full of sports from the previous weekend, the Tuesday and Wednesday editions were not. In an editor’s note last Friday, Sept. 27, I advised readers of my absence, and I hope everyone was patient in waiting for their sports results to appear. They did, just check out the inside sports pages from Thursday, Oct. 3 .
While in school, I typically received some sort of year-end attendance award for missing less than four days of school. That was my only sterling achievement during high school since awards are not typically given to “B” students. From an early age, my parents instilled the ideals of responsibility and work ethic in me and my three sisters. We were assigned different jobs around the house, and were expected to complete them. When my parents were away, the “mice” did not play.
I have carried that ethic into my working career, and since my college graduation 23 years ago, I have missed just two days of work – and none at the Evening Sun. Yeah, I have battled my share of illnesses, just like everyone else. But missing a day here? Since I am devoid of a backup on the sports desk, my issue has been “who will write the sports?” I suppose my love for the job has something to do with my resolve to show up every day. And so, I embark on my next 18-year perfect attendance streak happy to have a great job, great co-workers, and a desire to do the job right. Heck, where else can you watch a game, scarf down some snacks, and actually get paid to do it?

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