Spring into new venture with familiar face

Spring is about renewal, about fresh starts. After a harsh winter, the spring has never felt so good, even if there haven’t been as many warm days as I would have liked by now. Spring means so many different things to so many different people.

Today is the start of the annual Double Decker Arts Festival on The Square. I remember the first one. It’s grown and grown and become a yearly event that is flocked to by thousands of folks, most of them from other places. That’s a good thing. Oxford and Lafayette County should always have something like it.

What Double Decker, and spring, has always meant to me – someone who covers sports for a living the past 15 years and 17 overall – ­is baseball and softball playoffs. And the big, important track meets. Oh and tennis. You can’t forget tennis in a town like Oxford and not with a program that has been as successful as the one coach Louis Nash has fostered.

There have been many years in the past where I have covered a baseball playoff game out of town and met someone at Double Decker that night. There have also been years where my wife has asked me to stroll around the art vendors for a few hours before heading over to W.V. Brewer Field or Edwin Moak Field to cover a game. That’s partially how I’ve balanced my family life and the never-stop action of sports we have grown so used to in this area.

Today is the first edition of the Oxford Citizen, the weekly mail-out publication printed by Journal Inc. What better time to launch than in the spring, when so many things are new, and as Double Decker is set to begin? It’s a perfect time to me. The sole focus is to be as local and relevant to daily life here as a publication can get.

Our two high schools have consistently been ranked at the top, or near the top, in all sports over the last decade. The athletes that compete in various sports every week, each and every practice, are very special and I plan to let you, all the readers and all the citizens in the county, know that much more about them.

My goal is to continue to provide the most original, most in-depth and most relevant local coverage, especially when it comes to the things that are important to us like LHS and OHS and Ole Miss and youth sports. In this edition alone, I have a feature on a Lafayette softball team that has made tremendous strides to earn a top seed in the upcoming MSHAA playoffs, and how pitcher Avery McCullough has been a huge key to that success.

Don’t miss my Q &A with Brad Freeman, the leader at FNC Park, as he gets ready to help with OPC baseball and softball and the almost countless teams that arrive to play in baseball tournaments various weekends. There is also a feature on Oxford’s William Paine, a state champion with a heart of gold, and spring football previews for our two high schools, programs that both reached Jackson last season.

 This is the best community, the best county in the state, and our sports programs, at all levels, help make it so special. For those that have enjoyed my work before, I’m glad to be back, offering rare looks at what makes all of this work so well. For those that haven’t read me before, welcome and enjoy. I’m ready for the ride, ready to continue to make our community the best, and with your help, it will continue to be.

About John Davis

Eighteen years in the business. Dedicated to providing the best local content for sports. Oxford, Lafayette, Ole Miss, youth sports, outdoors and the things nobody else wants to cover.