January is a Very Busy Month


            Since we find ourselves in the midst of the school year’s Christmas and New Year’s holiday break, it is hard to imagine how busy things will be when school starts back. We have a very busy month of high school sports ahead.

Basketball and soccer will plunge into division play during the month. Some schools have a game or two already under their belts, but it will hit hard and heavy during January. In fact, soccer will only have through Saturday, January 19 for regular season play. First round playoffs for soccer begin on Tuesday, January 22. Round two for soccer will be Saturday, January 26, round three will be Tuesday, January 29, and the state championships will be in Clinton on February 1 and 2. High school soccer wastes no time in their playoffs of four rounds.

The playoff scenario for soccer is very limited, only the number one and number two teams from each division qualify for the playoffs. Now you can see how very important the next three weeks are to our soccer teams and coaches. Practically every match takes on a “must-win” situation. You must show up with your “A game” each and every time.

Basketball also is hitting another gear and all the teams want to finish the season strong. Those that have been beset with injuries are hoping that the holidays have been kind to those who have been hobbled and are optimistic that the return of particular players can help them make the necessary run to finish the regular season which closes for many on February 8.

We also have three schools involved in bowling this year, East Union, West Union, and New Albany and their first round of playoffs will begin the first week of February.

Yes, January is a busy month for our high schools, but January will also see the basketball season begin for the New Albany Park and Recreation League. January 5 is the first Saturday for our local fifth and sixth graders to tip-off at the Ford gym. Come out and enjoy watching our future stars on Saturdays during January and February. Current scheduled dates for games are January 5, 12, and 26. February 2 and 16 are the remaining dates.

As we scurry about this busy January, let’s make sure that we never overlook the opportunities that we have to be of service to our fellow man. We always need to be mindful of those about us that need an encouraging word, that need a helping hand, or just showing a random act of kindness to someone we meet. We never know whose life we may touch by what may seem to be a small thing to us. As the saying goes “You don’t have to look very far to find someone less fortunate than you or in a worse situation than you are in.”

About Dennis Clayton

I cover high school sports in Union County and occasionally contribute sports articles to sister community newspapers of Journal Inc. I have lived in Union County my entire life and strive to use my articles to promote our players, teams and schools. Follow me on Twitter: @denclayton for scores and updates on our local high school teams.