By Tony Hooker
And just like that, high school sports resumed.
I had the pleasure of covering my first live event since last March on Saturday, and I had forgotten how much I missed it.
Kudos to Ryan Hornaday and Steve Fiscus, the TCHS administrators who made this happen for their lady Warriors and the Blue Devils, but I must say the entire scene was surreal. From the gymnasium being locked up tighter than Fort Knox when I arrived to the sparse crowd to the whole “leave the gym after the JV game so they can spray sanitizer everywhere” moment, it was just strange and different.
But so worth it. To me, of course, but my enjoyment surely pales in comparison to the feelings registering in the hearts of the players, coaches and parents. After all the months of unknowns, practicing for a season which might never arrive, they finally got to compete, and I’m sure it’s worth the inconvenience of wearing their uniforms under their sweats to the game. As for the game itself, there were some disappointed girls and one very disappointed coach on the VGH side after they led by ten with six and a half minutes to go and fell to a furious Tuscola rally, but I would venture to say that the disappointment they felt will fade into the background as they realize that they were there. They were playing ball again.
Cardinals make huge move
So much for the winter of my discontent, to paraphrase that noted 15th century sports guy, William Shakespeare. For a while now, it’s been my contention that the Cardinals have been satisfied to be better than average rather than to strive to be great. There’s a lot to be said for being consistent, but it’s also been frustrating because it’s always looked to a fan like me that they were one move away from being a world series contender and they never made the move. And then this week happened. And then, Nolan Arenado happened. For those who don’t follow baseball, Arenado’s career offensive numbers are .293 batting average, 35 hr., 118 RBI’’s per season over the course of his career. He’s also won eight Gold Glove awards (given to the best defensive player at their position) in eight years. I love Matt Carpenter and I value his contributions to the Cardinals over the years, but this is really like trading in a 1974 Pinto for a 2020 Mustang GT 500, (5.2-liter supercharged V8=fastest Mustang ever and Daddy wants one!) especially at this point in their respective careers. If Jack Flaherty can get back to being his dominant self, and Jordan Hicks continues to rehab and can reach ridiculous fastball speeds again as a closer, I think we can be pretty good. Of course, Shane and Bub’s World Series champion Dodgers remain the team to beat, and the news that they just added last year’s Cy Young winning pitcher to their already dominant team makes it seem unlikely that anyone wearing colors other than Dodger Blue will be hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy any time soon, but the games still have to be played, and as noted optimist Lloyd Christmas told us in Dumb and Dumber, “You’re telling me there’s a chance.”