In light of the recent fabulous DHS Lady Trojan softball season, I dedicate this blog in honor of you.
As I go into my mind, I remember my years of playing sports. I hear Jim McKay in my head saying, "The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat." Boy, no truer words were ever spoken in the mindset of a competitive athlete.
I was blessed with lots of victories as a Lady Trojan athlete. The collegiate times were times of agony and defeat, but that's another chapter. I want to focus on small town sports today.
As a Lady Trojan or Trojan in our small burg, you have been blessed in your youth although you may not realize it at this point in the game of life. Our burg lacks in some areas, but supporting its local athletes is not one of them. I think back at all the mom and pop businesses and people of this town who love and support you not only on the softball diamond, baseball field, basketball and volleyball court, track and field, soccer field, or football field, but also as you live and grow. Many times, people who I have never actually met would ask, "Are you Sarah Anderson who played basketball in the 80's? Boy, you were awesome!" Oh, yes, these were glory days indeed for me and I'm amazed that people remember.
The perks of a supportive small town are endless. As you grow into adulthood, I'm sure you will have many moments like I have had. It will tug at your heartstrings and make you want to pay it forward for this little burg. One of the ways I have paid it forward was by becoming a teacher in our local systems: County and City. I was blessed to teach many Choctaws and Trojans in my twenty years. I was fortunate to listen to Charles Dawson, Charles Cowles, Charles Maxey, and Bubba Cobb broadcast your times as athletes. I was fortunate to be hugged and thanked by Charles Cowles, the number one fan of DHS sports that ever lived, months before his death. Let me paint the scenario for you. I was sitting in my wheelchair at a homecoming powder puff football game trying to be as small as possible because it's still hard to mentally deal with being broken in my body especially at local sporting functions. As I said, our community never forgets its athletes. I was watching my daughter play for the freshman squad. Out of no where I received this beautiful embrace that said we love you always, broken or strong. This is what is so precious about growing up in a small town.
Let's bring it on home. I remember so vividly my last home game as a Lady Trojan basketball player. I wept uncontrollably for many reasons. One of the biggest was the fact that this little country cornflake was loved regardless of my parents social status. I realized that I loved my parents regardless, even if my dad wore mismatched polyester clothes. I realized the love and sacrifice of my hard working, beautiful mother. I realized that this community was something special. Although you may have played your last game as a Trojan or Lady Trojan, you will always be loved, cherished, and remembered in our small corner of the world: Dyer County, Tennessee. As you go on your collegiate careers, I, Mrs. Alley, challenge you to pay it forward wherever you may land. And if we are blessed enough, you may one day sow some of those beautiful seeds that were sewn in you in our little corner of the world.
Special thanks to: Mrs. Laverne and Mr. Bobby Shaw, Dr. and Mrs. Horner, Mr. and Mrs. Lee Simmons
They always made me feel so special.