Celebrating homecoming season

When I started at the Gazette, my primary focus was learning about football since that was the first sport and special section I would work with on my own. My predecessor, Mitchell Smith, gave me an odd look then explained that I would only cover one school, as this was before the county schools joined together for their squad. At that point, I didn’t know that non-football schools existed, especially since the smallest school in Lowndes County (West Lowndes), where I’m from, even had one.
Talking further about things to look forward to during the school year, he brought up homecoming for the county schools.
So wait, homecoming takes place during basketball season?
I know this is what everyone is accustomed to, but coming from a larger school, it blew my mind but made sense given the history of the schools with the sport and the fact it’s one of the few sports that every school has.
I’ve grown accustomed to this over the last two years, and this weekend will be the first of the county school homecomings, as Myrtle will host Houlka Saturday night. Next week, however, I will take after the schools I cover and have a homecoming of my own.
Last season, I was very excited when New Albany added Columbus to their basketball schedule, and even more so after realizing they would travel to the “Falcons’ Nest” to return the favor this season. Now I know I mention my alma mater often, but whether other sportswriters admit it or not, it’s pretty exciting when we can go to our old stomping grounds and cover the school we graduated from. I’m the same way, as I love any time a school in Union County takes on Columbus.
What makes this occasion even more unique: I’ve never watched a basketball game at Columbus High.
Seriously. Outside of football, I never attended another sporting event during high school. So when I watched CHS and New Albany last season, that was the first time I had ever seen the Falcons play basketball, which is a shame considering how good they were while I was in high school.
It’s not often that I make it home given my busy schedule and living a couple of hours away, but this will be one of the more exciting trips for me, as I haven’t been on campus since watching the Falcons and Horn Lake in football while I was in college.
So, happy homecoming season to the county schools and to the kids who will have the honor of representing their schools on court. I look forward to covering all of those, as well as my own special homecoming next week.