Jun. 12—I've got my mind on vacation.
It's summer, and the sun is finally out. So yeah, it's natural to think about getting away for a little escape. But even in my time off, I can't help but think about sports.
While on the road, you might be hanging out at the beach and see some volleyball being played, or a group of bros having an intense spike ball session. Or you could be at the lake, seeing acrobatic wake boarders wow passers-by or a dad fling his child 20 feet off a tube as they skip across the water like a rock.
Yeah, Dad. I'm calling you out with that one.
Or you could be at home, having a barbecue and throwing up the badminton net because Mema said she could still beat the grands — all while the dads are grilling out and throwing a few horseshoes as they watch the chaos unfold.
But in any case, there's something about the summer sun that makes you just want to get out and do things. It's fun to get active, have some intense-yet-somewhat-friendly competition, and enjoy being together once again.
At the same time, our area student-athletes are grinding in their off seasons. There's summer ball, team camps, skills camps, individual lessons, and summer pride workouts. I've been trying to catch as much of the action as I can, and expect to be around a little more as I work to complete my summer projects.
Speaking of which, even when I'm taking time off, I'm still thinking about those. Our all-time McAlester team project has a lot of people talking and reminiscing about many a different Buffs team.
I got an email this week from a former Buff that now currently lives in Idaho. I'm paraphrasing, but he said he still keeps up with his McAlester friends and they constantly talk about their playing days. And now with this project, it's become another way for him to continue to stay connected to his home town.
Plus, it'll be time for the McAlester football preview magazine before you all know it. You'll be able to read all about your favorite local team as they prepare for the upcoming season.
And then there's fast-pitch softball and fall baseball that will be starting, plus volleyball, and cross country, and...well, you get the picture.
I guess what I'm saying is, sports are all around us — even in the "off" months. They're so heavily ingrained into our culture and daily lives. But they bring us together, create lasting bonds, and fond memories that we'll never let go.
So get out there and have some fun. Challenge someone to a match. Heck, I'll accept. I may have gained a few pounds and have only one half-working knee, but I'm always willing to play.
Contact Derek Hatridge at firstname.lastname@example.org.