Spring is the best, and busiest, time of year

Published 10:20 am Thursday, May 7, 2015

Whenever it’s revealed to someone that I’m a sports writer, it’s almost a given that the question, “What’s your favorite sport to cover?” will soon follow.

I have a few favorites, but it’s not a difficult answer.

Football is great for the spectacle and adrenaline rush of Friday nights and Saturday afternoons, but the regimented nature of the week can make it a bit stuffy.

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Basketball and soccer, besides being in the dead of winter, is a four-month slog with games nearly every night.

So the answer is, of course, baseball. On the high school and college levels it’s laid back enough to actually get to know players and coaches, and the weather for most of the season is great. Nothing beats a warm spring evening at the ballpark.

As a whole, though, the entire spring sports calendar has a lot to offer.

Softball offers the same benefits of baseball, but with more singing.

Spring football offers the same benefits as fall football, but with less music from the band making postgame interviews impossible to hear.

My favorite single event of the year is covering the state track meet. Laying on the infield grass for a few minutes, closing my eyes and feeling the sun and warm breeze on my face during three heats of the 1,600 meters has always been a treat.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve gotten to spend some time at the golf course. Warren County’s high school golfers are, as a whole, the best in the state. St. Aloysius’ girls won the Class I team championship for the third time, the boys are making a run at their fifth in a row, and Warren Central’s Karley Whittington repeated as the girls’ Class III champion.

No town in the state can boast that kind of depth on the links. Plus, mashing the gas pedal on the cart on the long bridge at the 15th hole at Clear Creek Golf Course feels like driving at Talladega.

The spring season is, undoubtedly, the busiest time of year in local sports.

I get home by dinner time during football season. In spring, as my wife Shannon can sadly attest, I often walk in the door, kiss her goodnight and then sit down at the computer to work until the wee hours of the morning.

The spring sports season is quickly coming to a close. After this week, it’s just a few odds and ends to clean up with spring football, the state tennis tournament and our annual all-county teams.

Honestly, I’ll be glad for it.

As much as I enjoy spring sports, it’s time to relax a bit and get to know my wife again. She misses me, and I her.

I’m coming home soon, honey.

Ernest Bowker is a sports writer. He can be reached at 601-619-7120, or at ernest.bowker@vicksburgpost.com

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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