It’s weird not going to Lagoon this week

Published 12:01 am Thursday, May 15, 2014

It’s been kind of an off-week for this sports editor.

For the past six straight years, I’ve made my way up to Montgomery to cover the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s State Softball Championships at Lagoon Park.

This year is the first that we haven’t had any teams competing at state since I took up the helm as sports editor here.

All week, I kept thinking about what I would be writing about on this day in the lead-up to the tournament.

It’s been a little fun and depressing at the same time.

Usually, I pay a visit to the team’s school and talk with coaches and players for a general preview and feature story. This is when I try to write my best copy because this is when it matters for folks.

I really enjoy going to the state tournament at Lagoon because the environment is one that has to be experienced.

Crowds of parents, fans and lovers of the game pack the park to watch their teams compete for a blue map in the two-day event.

From all the way over on Field No. 6, the one that’s the first field on your right as you enter the park, you can hear fans cheering on their respective teams.

The reality soon hit me shortly after all of our teams were eliminated from state-tournament contention on Saturday in Gulf Shores.

Opp, Florala, Straughn and Pleasant Home fell despite putting up good fights in the loser’s side of the bracket.

Even though our teams won’t be putting up another good fight at Lagoon this week, it will give me the chance to ponder the good memories I’ve accrued thus far.