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Football’s bye week makes room for others

Tumbleweeds will blow across Warren County’s football fields this Friday night. Three of our four local teams have a bye week and the fourth, St. Aloysius, is on the road. Teams have taken it down a notch during practice this week to rest some injuries and gear up for the start of the district schedule next week.

That’s not the case for other sports. While football gets a midseason breather, the county’s softball, soccer, swimming and volleyball teams are at critical points of their seasons.

Porter’s Chapel Academy and St. Aloysius’ softball teams wrapped up their regular seasons this week, while Warren Central and Vicksburg played region games.

St. Aloysius’ soccer team is winding down its regular season and making a playoff push, and its swim team won the MAIS championship at the state meet on Wednesday.

From the standpoint of providing coverage and giving these other teams some publicity, it’s a welcome convergence. It’s no secret that football — and high school football in particular, on the local level — is the proverbial 800-pound gorilla of the fall sports season.

Every athlete works hard, but football draws the biggest crowds and gets the most attention of any sport on the fall schedule. Therefore, it naturally dominates our sports section from August to November. We don’t ignore the other sports, but with four games to preview and cover each week, there is only so much time and space to go around and anything non-football occasionally gets pushed to the side.

This, then, is the week where we try to rectify that. With little to no football hanging overhead, this is a time to spread ourselves around and stretch our sports legs.

Vicksburg and Warren Central played a big slow-pitch softball game on Tuesday that we were able to feature. St. Al’s swimming championship is splashed on today’s front page. Soccer and even cross country have or will find a place in the Vicksburg Post’s sports section this week.

The one missing ingredient was volleyball. Vicksburg and Warren Central were both on the road for games this week.

Even so, it has been fun to take a step back from football and get a reminder that there is more to our local sports scene than the Friday night lights. There are also Monday, Tuesday and Thursday night lights. It’s always good to give those “other” athletes their due.

Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached 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 sports reporters in the paper's 137-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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