Turn the Page

We turn the page and begin another chapter in high school sports beginning next week. New Albany will get things started with a jamboree game at Kossuth on Friday night August 16. Then on Saturday many of our local teams will take the first pitch of the softball season at the West Union Tournament. New Albany Volleyball begins that day as well as the Lady Bulldogs play in the Pontotoc Invitational.

That’s a lot of sports in a couple of days to knock the rust off from the summer slowdown. Well, it slowed down as far as high school activities, but there was plenty going on at BNA Bank Park as the Cotton States Leagues were in full swing and have just completed their summer campaign of baseball and softball. With ten high school league teams, five junior high league teams, and four fast pitch softball teams, there was plenty of action going on this July. There’s more to come as we will play “Fall Ball” in just a few weeks with the anticipation of even more players and teams participating, particularly in the fast pitch softball league which had its inaugural season. Congratulations to all those involved with Cotton States for a successful summer season!

September will bring back cross country action and this sport has seen amazing growth in our area schools. Not only that, we have already garnered individual and team state championships for Union County in the sport and this season looks to be another great one as many of the top runners in the state will hit the trails in early September with meets in Pontotoc and Saltillo to get the season started.

We will do our best to get coverage of our athletes and teams through print and also get our fans updates and results by means of social media and our website. Fans want to know how games are going whether it be their team or other area teams and we will strive to furnish you with the sports news you want in a timely manner. One note, if you are on Twitter and are at the game, please Tweet the scores. Not only do those of us at the local papers here in Union County want to know, there are people across north Mississippi that keep a watch on all sports scores. We cannot be at every game that every team plays as much as we would love to be, so we need your help. It is greatly appreciated, may I say before the season starts. My Twitter account is listed at the end of this column, give me a follow so I can in turn give you the sports information you want.

Journal Inc. consists of our daily newspaper, the Daily Journal and seven weekly publications in Union, Pontotoc, Tippah, Benton, Chickasaw, Monroe and Itawamba counties. Our local schools will be playing against and participating with teams that are covered by these newspapers. We work together with our sister papers to attempt to staff events when we have teams playing each other to give you the coverage you deserve. This cooperation will free one of us to go and cover another team or sport. It is nice to have the luxury to do this and we know our readers will appreciate it. Hence, we may have articles written by a reporter from a sister paper, but rather than having two employees covering the same game, we get an extra story and photo, etc. from another game. Many times that requires the reporter writing two stories in order to give our readers the perspective from both sidelines or dugouts. So whether I write the copy or someone from a sister paper, we will give you the sports news that you want and expect. Again, this is the reason that social media is so important to us in the print business at Journal Inc. because we encompass 15 counties with our daily paper to go along with our seven weekly papers. Our readers think sports are a big deal, just like the people of Union County do, so let us hear from you.

Jay Tidwell and I are working on previews for our fall sports teams and we plan to have those in the News Exchange on August 15 right before the teams hit the fields, courts and courses. We will have schedules, rosters, and team information. It’s an exciting time of year, so get your game on! Pick up a copy and check them out. We will see you at the games.

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.