Getting down and dirty… Real season kicks off for the boys and girls of Spring this week

Published 12:24 am Thursday, May 3, 2018

For the past few weeks, local athletes who take the field, court, and track have been honing their skills and coming together as a team preparing for the real season that kicks off in earnest today with action in both softball and baseball with soccer, track, and tennis getting underway next week.

At stake, a trip to the 2018 Spring Fling State Tournament in Murfreesboro where champions will be crowned in all spring sports.

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It doesn’t matter what the regular-season standings were as all teams enter the post season with identical 0-0 records.

Anyone who has ever followed sports realize that a new start has seen several surprises, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see several upsets in the early going of all the spring sports.

Teams like the Cloudland Lady Highlanders and Happy Valley Lady Warriors come to mind in the sport of softball as both teams have shown glimpses of being a great team all year with both teams ready to turn their respective conferences on their ear if teams overlook them.

Elizabethton and Unaka are the cream of the crop in their respective conferences with the Lady Cyclones going undefeated through their conference slate during the regular season.

There’s nothing that would make the Lady Warriors happier than to help be a toe-stumper in the district tournament being played on Elizabethton’s home field.

The Lady Rangers are in the same boat knowing that Cloudland, University High, or any of the other conference foes are licking their chops to gain a shot at going to state.

It should be an entertaining Watauga Valley Conference showdown on Stoney Creek—the site of many Lady Ranger titles in year’s past.

On the hardball diamond, the same holds true as Elizabethton looks to extend a successful season that left the Cyclones one win short of 20 wins, but having to go through rivals Unicoi Co., Sullivan East, and Happy Valley which has proven to be spoiler come tournament time throughout the years.

Unaka has a good chance of punching its ticket to the regional, sub-state, and state rounds should they be able to get quality pitching.

Again, there are teams looking to play spoiler including Hampton who made it deep in last year’s post season.

Things are shaping up nicely for a great district tournament in both softball and baseball and fans owe it to themselves to make the effort to go support their respective schools.

Soccer is still trying to shake out it’s district seedings while Elizabethton will be looking at conquering a giant mountain having to play up against teams like Greeneville.

Meanwhile, track participants are taking time to make sure everything is timing out just right with the conference track championship right around the corner.

Best of luck to all area schools participating in their respective sports and conferences. There has been a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that have gone into the regular season, but there is no point to take it easy now.

Each game represents the heartbeat of every player on their respective team and for some, the season will come to an abrupt end while others will dig deep, fight, and scratch their way toward a potential state championship.

Regardless of the outcome, enjoy the ride.

In the words of Tim Tebow—its only a game. There will be many more fish to fry in the future.