Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Dawn Breaks for South Stanly

For the third time in four seasons, I am sitting in a motel room in the eastern part of the state with the baseball team from South Stanly waiting for an early-morning game.

The differences this time are that the softball team is also in the same hotel and is looking for a state title of their own in Raleigh.

As much of a scourge to the baseball industry that precipitation can be, rain gave all the baseball and softball teams another day to think about what is ahead of them.

Only this time, the contingent from Stanly County is a lot bigger, possibly a little bit louder in the courtyard/pool area and definitely excited for the games ahead.

This time, South Stanly looks to become just the third team in the history of fast-pitch softball and baseball to sweep both championships in the same year.

More importantly, for a group of seniors on both teams, who have played ball together most of their lives, will play their final high school games this week.

There is a certain finality that comes with playing in the state finals as your last game of the season.

For every athlete that has played in a state final in their sport, there are innumerable ones that will never get the opportunity to do that.

I often talk about the vast number of state championships that are available in the four state classifications in North Carolina, including the eight football champions in a subdivided playoffs that is just too many, in my opinion.

Four state champions per sport per season out of the approximately 400 high schools that compete in the NCHSAA is roughly one percent, which is a nice round figure.

If you are in the top one percent of your class or industry, that normally puts you among the elite.

For those players, coaches and fans that will make their way across the state to Durham Athletic Park and Walnut Creek Softball Complex to support the Bulls, there is only going to be one state champion, hopefully with a Bulls’ mascot on the jerseys.

I know that there will be many of you that can’t get to the game today, which is one of the reasons that my beautiful wife Laura and I are here.

We will be tweeting and blogging from baseball this morning at 11 a.m., as well as giving you updates that I will get from the first game of the softball series, also at 11 a.m.

After South Stanly and Voyager finish their first game, we will be making our way over to Raleigh to the softball complex for game two of the South – Camden County softball series.

Immediately following that game, we head back to Durham for the 5 p.m. second game of the baseball series.

Should any of the South series need to go to a third and deciding game, they would be played on Sunday at 1 p.m. and we will be there.

Hot waffles, CNN on the TV and foreboding gray skies have greeted us all this morning, but hopefully we can get some games in today.

My Twitter ID is @charles_curcio; please follow me today and possibly tomorrow for the latest on the games and the possibility of bad weather, the first of which we want to see and the other that can come again another day.

Along with photographers and other people, I will be working hard to bring you the info on the games, with Tuesday’s print edition hopefully to have pictures, stories, quotes and more from today's games.

Stay tuned!

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