The journey continues

Jun. 30, 2013 @ 06:13 AM

Once again, it’s been quite the week. I’m coming up on a year here in Rutherford County and the first-time experiences keep coming. It’s as if I’m asked to do something new nearly every day, and this week was no different.

Monday kicked off the Little League All-Star tournaments that have run my life for the past week and will continue to do so for the next two weeks.

I knew that the tourneys were important to the county but I never anticipated the fanfare I’ve already seen, and that’s for 7/8 year olds.

While watching the 7/8 championship game Friday night I noticed how passionate many of the parents were. The lightning may have taken the kids off the field a couple times but the parents never left their seats.

The bleachers were full of red Forest City shirts on one side and blue Rutherfordton shirts on the other. Clearly the kids are already being trained for town rivalries that will follow them through high school.

Over the next week or so I’ll be out and about at various parks in the county to see if other leagues bring the same passion as the youngest one.

Thursday was another first and actually a pretty cool development in my career as a sports journalist, I was asked to vote as a member of the media for the 2013 Coastal Plain League All-Star team.

Each CPL team has three representatives vote in the totally anonymous poll. Along with Owls head coach David Tufo and the Owls radio broadcaster, I put in my picks for this year’s team. Of course I thought about just stuffing the ballot with Forest City names because I want to see as much local representation as possible, but that isn’t the job of a journalist. Therefore, I was totally objective and I felt honored to vote as the team’s local media outlet.

We’ll see how much my ballot affects the actual team, but it was cool enough just to be a part of the process. Maybe one day I’ll be voting for larger all-star teams.

Now for the most nerve-racking first of the week. I’m scheduled to toss out the first pitch at tonight’s Owls game.

The Daily Courier is sponsoring tonight’s match-up with Wilmington and I was asked months ago if I’d be willing to do the honor, and how could I refuse?

As a baseball player for the better part of my life, you wouldn’t think I’d be too worried about one throw, but I’ve seen enough first pitch disasters to know that I’m not above complete embarrassment.

I’ve practiced a few times over the past weeks in preparation for the moment. It’s been years since I’ve really thrown a baseball. From my first semester I was allow about flag football and it showed the first time I grabbed a baseball to practice with my dad. A baseball, clearly, is much smaller and lighter than the pigskin ... it took a little adjusting.

But once I step on the field and climb onto the rubber I think I’ll be able to handle it. Maybe I can find an Owl to warm-up with me and snag a few pointers from Todd Coffey.

But Todd might be a little wary of revealing too many secrets, I’d hate to go out there and top 95 mph and steal a free agent deal from him.