Growing up, my parents always told me to enjoy my childhood because it would go by quickly. So, naturally, I ignored them thinking that I had all the time in the world.
But they were so right (Don’t tell them). While some days have seemed to take forever throughout my 27 years of life — I am beginning to lose some of my hair, but my boss tells me I am still young — the weeks, months and years have gone by quickly.
Today marks the first official day of public high school fall sports practice throughout the state of Maryland. Exactly ten years ago, I was a senior at Col. Zadok Magruder High School, preparing for my final season of competitive football under the late Eddie Ashwell.
I was eager with anticipation, but dreaded the lengthy two-a-day practices and hot days. I couldn’t wait for practice to be over, but lived for my brothers and best friends on the field and eagerly anticipated Friday nights.
Before I knew what happened, the season — all 10 weeks of it — was over along with my football career. After the season was over, I had the opportunity to play at a NCAA Division II or Division III school, but I opted to forgo all the offseason work and practices for the college life at a big school at Penn State.
It was the biggest mistake of my life.
There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t regret not playing college football. So, in Happy Valley, I did the next best thing: Become a sports writer. I’m blessed that I received the opportunity to come back and work for my hometown paper — the same one that wrote about me as a lineman and wrestler — for the past five years. It’s been interesting — for better and worse — covering student-athletes that have experienced many of same things I did in high school.
While changes to the newspaper landscape have undoubtedly been felt at The Gazette over the past decade, we still strive to provide the best high school sports coverage in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
Jennifer Beekman (girls’ soccer, tennis), Nick Cammarota (boys’ soccer, cross country), Dan Feldman (football) and Travis Mewhirter (volleyball, field hockey, golf) will provide you with day-to-day coverage of your favorite high school teams. Sports editor Ken Sain and I will pinch hit when needed, and I will also be keeping tabs on the local colleges.
Over the next three weeks we will be highlighting all of the high school sports and teams in the area. In the Aug. 28/29 papers our football preview will run with the other sports either the week before or the week after.
The Gazette’s sports staff is on Twitter. Follow us @Mont_Sports and @PG_Sports. Use hashtag #mdpreps this fall to stay connected for scores from Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.