Moving from couch to bench

It was a smooth handoff in the Mitchell family sports season. The Olympics finished off Sunday night with the closing ceremony, just five days before football officially kicks off with the New Albany Bulldogs.

I confess I was getting a little weary of watching the splash meter as divers went into the pool or the announcers at the track events trying to “fit” in with their blue jogging getups.
Anyhow, now it’s all over and it’s time for the transition from the soft living room couch to the hard metal bench at Kitchens Field. Fortunately, my posterior has the padding to handle it.
The Bulldogs start a season dedicated to Coach Ron Price’s late wife, Amanda, with a season opener at 7:30 p.m. Friday with Ripley.
A couple of weeks later the college season gets under way. I’ll probably be watching more college games on television this season. (Jenny says she doesn’t see how that could be possible.)
My alma mater, the University of Missouri, has joined the Southeastern Conference, which should mean more of the Missouri games will be televised in this area.
But Missouri has been placed in the eastern division of the conference, and therefore is not on the Ole Miss or Mississippi State schedule this year.
If it’s football season, it also means it’s time for the Gazette’s Fall Sports Preview section. The 32-page high-school sports magazine is tucked inside your paper today.
Sports Editor Elizabeth Zaremba, the guru of sports in Union County, doesn’t just preview New Albany and East Union football, either.
She’s got all the fall sports from New Albany and Union County schools, and photos of the teams, the cheerleaders and the bands pulled together in a glossy keepsake magazine.
The Gazette is the only newspaper with a full-time sports reporter covering New Albany and Union County schools. During football season, the Gazette provides full-color photo coverage of the games in its Wednesday edition and a preview of the upcoming games in the Friday paper.
 We hope to see you at the game. Elizabeth will be the one with the camera on the sidelines of the field working; I’ll be the one sitting on the bench in the stands, munching on a band burger.
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Speaking of eating, don’t forget to mark Friday, Sept. 21, on your calendar for the RiverFest Kickoff Community Luncheon. It will be at noon at the First United Methodist Church event hall on Bankhead Street.
Author and columnist Rheta Grimsley Johnson will be the speaker at the event, where the winners of the William Faulkner Literary Awards will be announced.
Johnson, whose column appears every Friday in the Gazette and more than 50 other newspapers, has written several books. Her latest is Hank Hung the Moon … and Warmed My Cold, Cold Heart.
Tickets, which cost $10 a piece or $80 for a reserved table of eight, will go on sale Monday, Aug. 20, at the Union County Heritage Museum and the Union County Development Association. No tickets will be sold at the door.

T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by e-mail at