March 13, 2013 —
SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — The clocks moved forward, adding a man-made accent to the already lengthening days. This followed a snowy day that saw many schools close, hopefully for the last time this winter. Miraculously, it seemed the weather turned enticingly balmy, as bright sun and mild temperatures were an encouraging sign to the spring athletes champing at the bit for the long-awaited first official day of spring sports on March 11.
Aside from John S. Burke, Catholic’s boys team’s impending fourth consecutive trip to the Final Four in Glens Falls, all other Section IX basketball teams have now seen their hoop seasons finish; indoor track nationals are history as well. College basketball is still in the news with March Madness looming, while locally the Sullivan County Generals are hosting the NJCAA Finals from March 14-16. The Generals, who are the Region XV Champions, are hoping to bring home another national championship. We’ll have coverage of that tourney next week, as well as the Sullivan West Winter Sports Awards slated for March 13. Tri-Valley will stage its winter awards just one week later.
But for now it’s time to look ahead to the school year’s most glorious season.
Following a couple of weeks of practice, held either in gyms or outside weather permitting, the first week in April will feature a docket of track meets, boys and girls golf matches, baseball and softball games and boys tennis matches. While early spring weather can be quite chilly and/or wet, it gives way to gorgeous sunny days and, eventually, to daunting heat by the time the sectional meets, matches, games and the ensuing post-season glory quests are front and center.
Spring brings the promise of renewal and hope to a beleaguered world at large, and sports is no exception to that universal longing. As teams meet for the first time this week, coaches will assess their new configuration of veterans and newbies, and begin drills and conditioning as a run up to the daunting schedule that looms ahead. Spring has its own set of rivalries, many of which will be elucidated in the weeks to come.