With my return to a high school gymnasium at Poca High School the past week, I realized that my dementia can sometimes be overcome.
For example, we weren’t far into the game between our own Scott Skyhawks and Poca when some important facts reoccurred to me. I quickly recalled that basketballs are round, footballs are oblong, and pi r squared (or is it, pie are square? No, pies are round, too).
I will confess to being pleased to be back of the sidelines after an absence of several months. In my former stint as sports editor of The Lincoln Journal, I had the privilege of covering legendary Basketball Coach Harry Kirk and his teams at the former Harts High School and, lately, Chapmanville Regional High.
In my various physical “ramblings,” I have gotten to know a good deal about Scott High School athletics. The arrival of Jordan Roberts, the best high school football player Lincoln County ever produced, on the Skyhawk football team some years ago helped cement me with a positive view of Scott sports.
Likewise, I believe Head Football Coach Shane Griffith is an outstanding mentor, who has done a great job with the Skyhawk football teams.
Former Head Basketball Coach Jason Kingery was one of the best roundball strategists around. His energy and ability to motivate not only players, but fans and others as well, is legendary. I was very sad, as I told him, when he headed off to Pennsylvania with his family.
I do not know current Head Coach Nick Cabell well enough to have a complete opinion of him. All of our interaction to this point, however, has been positive and I have no reason to think anything negative about him. Certainly the team – until I began covering them at least – had looked very good this season.
I followed Kingery’s state recent state tournament run and was absolutely convinced the team would win it all. I was surprised and disappointed when they did not.
I also enjoyed watching the girls basketball team and their star player in action.
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All of this is to give the casual reader some idea of where I am coming from as the new reporter on Skyhawk athletics. As my previous readers in various locations will tell you, this column will always be quite opinionated. I am not ever going to be a writing cheerleader for the home team; I will report exactly what I see happening at games and I’ll offer opinions about some of it here.
I have never believed I have a franchise on what is right and wrong. My opinion, except for the fact that I have access to thousands of readers, is worth no more than anyone else’s. I welcome responses; criticisms and critiques of what a horrible job I am doing covering whatever sport it may be.
God gave me two fairly interesting qualities: He made me a writer and a political strategist. I am good at virtually nothing else. Don’t call me if you need a plumber; if your car is broken down, I am definitely not your man.
I have a track record of being very poor at personal relationships, too, so before critics delve into that I will admit it here. I can testify that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. My enemies like to spread rumors that I am a drunk but that little gem is definitely not true. I take an occasional social drink or nurse down a beer. Despite many of them who will insist I have driven drunk, that also has never happened. I have no idea how they have convinced themselves – and others – that I am the Otis Campbell of Charleston.
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One of my passions is the student-athletes of this world. If I am convinced a coach is good to his or her players and has their best interests at heart, that coach will get good ink from me. If it becomes obvious the coach is more concerned about his or her ego, then I will be critical in this space. Often readers fail to understand that “Ron’s Ramblings” is labeled and identified as it is because it is MY opinion. I can take liberties with facts, interpret them as I wish and spread them here for all the world to see. I certainly should not do that in a straight news story about athletics. There, opinion should be left out.
I have always said that objectivity is the goal of any reporter, editor or newspaper. On the other hand, we are all also human beings with prejudices, regardless of what they are. Sometimes, those prejudices show through our writing. It is not ideal, but it is a fact.
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So, we are off to watch the Skyhawks win state championships in both boys and girls basketball. I hope readers will believe that is what I want to see happen while remembering that I will attempt to cover the teams as objectively as possible. I will NEVER be a cheerleader; I will never try to cover-up missteps or wrongdoings, especially by coaches.
But there is no ax to grind here and no preconceived notions that anything is amiss. Let’s all root, root, root for the Skyhawks and all Boone County teams.