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The season’s almost gone-gone

Although the season has not changed by way of the calendar, sporting-wise it is about to transform.

All of our All-stars have completed their play for the year, and the Alabama Sports Festival has taken place. The YMCA swimming season will rock on for about another couple of weeks (Amanda said it will close Aug. 12), and folks at the schools are preparing to take on another year’s task of educating our children.

Having said that, I’ll say this: I have come around full-circle.

I actually started with Greenville Newspapers in the last week of June in 2000 — just like the new millennium, it was the dawn of a new era for me.

And I hit the ground running, most of the time blindly, not knowing from one minute to the next which way to go.

But the folks at 103 Hickory St. were very patient with me, while teaching me the ropes. It involved a new way of writing for me.

Back years ago when I wrote a column as a firefighter and paramedic, I was pretty much just writing like I talked, but since coming here I have learned a new way of communicating, known as &uot;AP Style&uot; (just a shortened way of saying we in the news business write according to the practices of the Associated Press).

Those first few weeks, I think the &uot;Ole Catfish&uot; (my nickname for Squire Buster MacGuire) ran out of red ink for his fountain pen several times.

In the beginning, after my copy went before him for editing, it came back looking like someone had bled all over it. But I have learned a great deal from him, and look forward to more years of learning from him to come.

I still have much to learn, but having put a year behind me now, I can honestly say I have learned a little bit about how to &uot;feel the pulse&uot; of the community.

And guess what happens next?

Football season comes in just a few short weeks.

We here at The Greenville Advocate are bracing up for another season of the gridiron rush.

We have an advantage this year that we didn’t have last year.

We have another member of the Friday night football coverage team of Eric, Chris and myself,

now that our Managing Editor, Stacey Killingsworth joined the staff a few months ago.

Our annual football preview is expected to hit the streets around the third week of August, which means we will all be scrambling around the county to get the facts, predictions, and best &uot;educated guesses&uot; from all the football coaches.

Also to be included will be rosters of the teams,

schedules for the upcoming season, and which gridders are expected to be the &uot;key&uot; players to watch.

I just hope when we hit those sidelines on Friday nights, we can look behind us to see not a single empty seat in the home-team cheering section.

I am looking forward to speaking with all of our stringers this year again, and if anyone would like to volunteer to call in scores and statistics after the games, it would certainly help us to get a more accurate picture into the Saturday edition’s sports page.

Anyone interested in such can feel free to call me at 382-3111, extension 132. For those who have to call long-distance, our toll-free hotline is 1-888-246-8237.

I am especially interested in hearing from anyone in Crenshaw and Lowndes counties who would like to volunteer as a stringer, so that we can include their teams in our entire coverage area in

each Saturday’s wrap-up.

And there was another little ditty popped up on my e-mail from the Chamber of Commerce today. The folks are planning the &uot;Coaches Corner&uot; over there, and reservations are being taken for $7 per person, with a deadline of August 9.

The folks at Greenville Parks and Recreation tell me they are on the ready for folks interested in enrolling in their fall sports programs, as is the Greenville YMCA.

So if your children have not already considered doing so, talk with them about getting involved in area sporting programs.

As I write this column, it is Monday evening. Tonight is the first official night of football practice for Greenville Academy and Fort Dale Academy, and the public schools will begin next Monday.

So, even at the gridirons, if you want to find me, I’ll be the one out there, way out in Deep Left Field.