Through My Lens (Not Yours) by Dan O’Neal

SPECIAL TO THE CALDWELL JOURNAL by Dan O’Neal…As it was said on the Fox television show Glee, “that’s how Sue sees it!” That being stated, whenever I write articles, columns, jibberish,etc. for the Caldwell Journal, I write from my perspective exclusively. You who follow current events and sports, there is your take on what is going on and then there is mine. We may agree on certain matters; then again, we may disagree on others. Hence, my offering is what I see through my lens, not necessarily yours.

Now that I have established this, it will not be long until we hear the voice of South Caldwell football Brent Tomberlin enthusiastically declare, “Here Come Your Spartansssssssssss!” When South Caldwell kicks off their 2017 season against Kings Mountain on August 25th, new head coach Marc Kirkpatrick and his coaching staff will look to improve on the 2-9 record from 2016 as well as replacing several graduating seniors. We wish former head coach Sean McMenomy and his family Godspeed as they move on to Hillsboro, Oregon.

South will remain in the same conference, the Northwestern 4A/3A (yes I find split conferences annoying,LOL). However, the cast of characters will be a different slate as Hibriten, Patton, and Foard, with lower enrollment numbers, have moved down to the 2A classification. Yet, with Hibriten being one of the three high schools in the county, South will still go up against the Panthers in all sports.

Welcome to the conference Alexander Central, who the Spartans face every year and are once again coached by former Spartans head coach Butch Carter. West Caldwell also moves up in classification and will face the Spartans in a conference matchup on September 29th. The McDowell Titans are also returning to the Northwestern 4A/3A conference. Interestingly, South and McDowell are the only Class 4A schools in the western portion of the state as well as being the only 4A schools located west of the Catawba River. How’s that for my being a wealth of useless information?

The other remaining schools we know all too well, Freedom, Hickory, Saint, and Watuaga. For most high school football junkies, there is the constant joy of making predictions of how the schools will finish in the conference. This is something I choose not to do. I always feel that my task is to give a honest perspective on the games that are played on the field, not on message boards. I also seek to give a positive spin on the students as well as the community.

My experience in the Jack Clarke press box has been a very blessed one. I still miss Mrs. Shelby; she will always be missed and ever a blessing. When the first game of the season kicks off, I will see us in the press box as “we’re getting the band back together”. Jason Childers will most certainly be getting the band, the Spartan Regiment, back together, making for very enjoyable pregame and halftime shows. At any rate, the press box at South is very much a family atmosphere and I personally appreciate the hospitality.

To the class of 2017, congratulations on your achievements and accomplishments. Best wishes and God’s blessings to all of you in whatever your pursuit. To the administration, faculty, and staff of South Caldwell, I trust that you are enjoying your summer season and wish all of you well as the 2017-2018 school year begins. One thing, I will miss Lacey (I call her the Terminator in the middle) Annas wreaking havoc on the basketball court and will miss Tyler Goins running through defenses. Then again, I know there will be outstanding athletes to make great plays this season. All in all, that’s how Dan sees it! Hope to see all of you at Spartan Stadium on August 25th!