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When it comes to kids, there's plenty of reasons to be thankful

Monday, November 26, 2012

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In sports as well as life, some days will be better than others just as weeks, months and years will be. Over the past 46 years I've sure had my share of all of the above, but through it all I've always been thankful.

Over the past three or four days, though most of us probably ate way too much while spending time with loved ones on the Thanksgiving holiday, I hope we all found at least one thing to be thankful for.

Most of the people I know led very busy lives, but there should always be some time found to be thankful for the many blessings we receive on a daily basis. Too often the helter skelter schedule most keep prevents us from realizing how fortunate we all are.

Though we agree on some topics and disagree on others when it comes to sports, I'm thankful to be able to hear from the faithful readers that have a difference in opinion than my own.

Last week the words spoken in this space were centered on the two local high schools, DHS and DCHS, resuming the rivalry series. Near the end of the column I mentioned I wanted to hear from readers either in support of or against it.

Throughout the first three days of the week I got my wish.

The overwhelming response was that the two schools should be allowed to play in whatever sport they choose. I was thankful for that.

However, the majority of the ones I talked to that didn't want to see the respective teams play centered their reasons on the previous basketball and football contests.

After talking to a couple of those thankful the two schools no longer compete against each other, their main reason had nothing to do with the games being played. The biggest negative comments were pointed toward the adults at the games, not the student athletes.

As one caller told me, the adults are the ones that need to be educated on how to act at the contests, not the kids. Which brings me to what I am most thankful for this year.

The kids.

Throughout the year I see so many kids playing the games they love to play. Some start seasons needing improvement and through hard work and dedication, by the end of the season that improvement can be seen.

It doesn't matter what sport either.

Most kids, as they develop and become pretty salty in a variety of sports, just want to play the game and do their best. The better players strive to be even better, just as the ones coming off the bench do. They're all making memories and are thankful to be on the field of play.

The kids that play have a way of bringing us together as a community. It doesn't matter which school we're talking about either. In just about every sport played, you can find fans of DC at Dyersburg games and vice versa.

The two schools may not be able to compete against each other, but the kids are what going to the games are all about anyway. I'm thankful for that too.

It's fair to say that I get to see more games than anyone at both places. The people in Dyersburg are no different than the people in Newbern. I've developed relationships with coaches at both places, and I admire all of them for the time they put in to make the community proud of the product they see when attending the contests.

Being one that in most cases lives to laugh -- even though at times I'm the only one that thinks something is funny -- some of these coaches keep me entertained from start to finish. I'm very thankful for that.

Over the course of a year, the countless number of sporting events attended seems to always leave a lasting impression in some form or another. I've witnessed the thrill of victory as well as the agony of defeat when it comes to both schools.

As a community we should all be thankful that there are athletes striving to give their very best for all of us to see during the contests.

But, more than being thankful when our favorite team wins a big game, we should be thankful that the kids of today still are driven to do their best on and off the field.

That's what our sports community should be thankful for, not thankful that one team wins while the other loses.

The people from Dyersburg and Newbern should be able to come together and be thankful for each other. We will never fully be able to move forward until we realize that holding animosity against each other will never allow us, as a community, to be totally thankful for what we have.

I'm thankful for the readers from all over the city and county. I appreciate being able to get up each day not knowing I will probably see something special done by some of the best kids you'll ever see.

You see, in Dyersburg and Dyer County one doesn't have t look far to see something special happen when it comes to sports.

I'm very thankful for that.

I hope everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday.

Your comments are welcome at msmith@stategazette.com



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