By DAVID VANTRESS
THE GOSHEN NEWS
GOSHEN - With the coming and going of last week’s IHSAA state boys golf tournament — which, by the way had local representation in Northridge’s Will Erekson — the book has been closed on another year of sports in our area.
The spring season is usually one of the shortest of the year, and it seemed to be even more so this season, with a very strange spring that saw a mild winter finally assert itself and then hang on much longer than it should have.
Cancellations abounded, and many area teams took much longer to get into a rhythm than they can usually expect.
But as always, it was a good season, with several area teams excelling.
One of the most special stories of the spring was the Fairfield softball team winning its first ever sectional title, downing perennial power Lakeland on the Lakers’ home field.
But the Falcons were not satisfied to just win that first sectional championship and then bow out of regionals.
They advanced to the Class 3A semistate championship with a thrilling come-from-behind victory over Hanover Central in the semifinals before falling to a loaded Yorktown team in the championship game.
I’m not a big fan of some of the IHSAA’s scheduling schemes — and the idea that a team has to play two games in one day is one such idea that should be revisited.
In Fairfield’s case, the weather again decided to play a factor, and the Falcons — who were originally supposed to play at 1 p.m. — ended up having their game pushed back to 3 p.m. And after winning, they had abut 90 minutes of rest before having to turn right around and play the championship game that night.
It’s not really a level playing field when your opponent has several more hours of rest than you do.
The IHSAA should do away with the two-games-in-one-day schedule. There’s more than enough time to play with in the schedule.
On the baseball side of things, NorthWood won a sectional championship — another one messed with in a big way by Mother Nature. A Monday sectional championship game ended up getting pushed back to Tuesday, and then that Saturday, a regional championship tournament was delayed to Monday and Tuesday.
The Panthers defeated Angola in the regional semifinals before bowing out in the regional finals to a loaded, highly ranked Norwell squad in a game that needed eight innings to decide.
With spring sports in the rear view mirror, there’s a brief break before the cycle begins anew with fall sports.
When you do this job for as long as I have, you recognize the patterns. And you also recognize another truism: The kids you get used to watching grow up, become young adults, and move on. Some of them go on to college, and we continue to chronicle their efforts.
Others hang up the athletic gear and move on with their lives.
But whatever these young athletes do when their careers are over, they take with them lessons that will serve them the rest of the days of their lives.
Contact sports editor David Vantress at 533-2151, ext.325 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.