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Midsummer Musings by Dan O’Neal

GRANITE FALLS, NC (August 10, 2018) — Confession is good for the soul, so it has been said. That being said, I take such a moment to do that; confess that I have given much thought to this feature that I intended to have completed back in June but honestly, fatigue has set in from time to time this summer season. With that, my confessional leads me to say I have not been much in the mood for “journalism.” On this particular day, that spirit has been rekindled.

Part of what I had planned to write about was to first pass along the kudos to Coach Elliott Bridges, Casey Justice, and Jeff Parham on their outstanding spring sports performances in closing the 2017-18 School calendar year. Both the varsity baseball and soccer advanced past the first round in the NCHSAA playoffs; outstanding as always. However, the Varsity Softball exceeded all expectations by advancing to the NCHSAA Class 4A State Championship. Unfortunately, the Lady Spartans came up short in losing the best of three series to the Jack Britt Lady Buccaneers. Nevertheless, unofficially, the Caldwell Journal has declared Varsity Softball the South Caldwell Spartans “Team of the Year” and Casey Justice as South Caldwell’s Varsity Athletics “Coach of the Year”. All in all, the administrations and athletic directors do an outstanding job with enhancing academic and athletic achievement (certainly you notice the order of priority).

My apologies to Trent Black for jinxing (i.e. if you are superstitious), running his perfect game in the conference playoff game at the “Big Deal”. He very much had a perfect game going until the late inning where I asked someone in the stands if it was a perfect game, to which the man replied “shhhhhhhh”. So, what happens when the next Freedom Patriot batter come to the plate? He hits a blooper between the first and second baseman breaking up Black’s perfect game. Yes, the Spartans won but next time I will “shoosh” when a no-hitter is in progress.

Congratulations also to Carter Lewis for qualifying in the NCHSAA 4A Track meet and finishing eleventh in the pole vault with a height of 12’6”!

Congratulations also to Granite Falls own native son Marty Curtis on his retirement from coaching High School baseball. Enough cannot be said with the way he helped shape many a young person in his forty-seven years of coaching, thirty-five of those at Bunker Hill High School. After 400 plus outstanding coaching victories, thank you so very much for your service. In talking with new Bears head coach Todd Setzer, I could only say to him, “your shoe size is not Marty’s shoe size. Do what you do really well!” Also, Marty and his wife Beverly recently celebrated 50 years of marriage, yet another milestone and extended words of congratulations and Happy Anniversary!

Congrats also to Caldwell American Legion Post 29 in making the North Carolina State baseball playoffs. I so wish you guys were playing in Asheboro this weekend for the Southeast Regional Legion baseball tournament.

Is anyone shocked that LeBron James signed with the Lakers? Do any of you really care? I’m like, “as if this was such a big mystery, please?”

In other musings, Tiger Woods, great to have you back on the PGA Tour. He may not be winning any majors but make no mistake about this, Spieth, Garcia, Mickelson, Johnson et al are very thrilled about him being back in the game.

If the Boston Red Sox do not make it to and win the World Serious, oops, Series, that is very much on them. The same applies to the Alabama Crimson Tide football squad. Do not ask where I am on the NFL!

Sometime next week, I will have my pre-season varsity sports feature. Again, South Caldwell students are blessed to have faculty, staff, band directors, choral directors, and coaches who truly care. As football coach Marc Kirkpatrick states, “while we certainly want wins, it is even more about team building as well as helping to shape these young people”. There, I finally got this done and will try not to delay too long next time, LOL…