By David Fong
MIAMI COUNTY — In one week, it begins again.
In just one week, all nine fall sports will officially begin practicing and, just a few days after that, the 2017-18 high school sports year will begin as golf becomes the first sport of the year to tee off in regular season competition. And then, before you know it, the rest of the fall sports — football, volleyball, soccer, cross country and tennis — all will be starting.
And, as it does every year, fall will bleed into winter, which will then spill into the spring — and, seemingly before anyone has a chance to catch their breath, the state track and field meet and state baseball and softball tournaments will bring an end to another year. It all goes so fast that sometimes it’s hard to fully appreciate it while it is happening.
The practices, the pre-game meals, the post-game celebrations, the pep rallies and the games themselves — it can all seem overwhelming sometimes.
And so, before we rush headlong into another year of sports, we thought it might be good to slow things down in these final few days before things kick off in earnest and appreciate the year that was.
The last school year was a banner one for sports in Miami County. There was a state champion crowned in volleyball, along with a state runner-up in both girls cross country and girls bowling. A team with a rich history rose up once again and reminded everyone how it earned its reputation across the state of Ohio in the first place. A record-setting number of Miami County football teams qualified for the postseason. The state wrestling and track and field competitions were loaded with local individual competitors.
It certainly was a year to remember for anyone who appreciates local high school sports.
It also was a year in which hundreds of memories were made for athletes, coaches, families, friends and fans.
We have no doubts there will be more memories — the kind that tend to last for a lifetime — made this year school year.
But we’ll have plenty of time for that in the coming nine months.
Before we get there, however, we wanted to take this last week to honor the best of the best — those who truly excelled throughout the 2016-17 school year. For the first time, we have decided to name the Troy Daily News athletes, coaches and teams of the year for both boys and girls. Our six-part series will begin in tomorrow’s newspaper as we announce the TDN Girls Athlete of the Year.
While there were dozens of qualified candidates in all six categories, we set about the arduous task of narrowing it down the best we could. Did we get it right every time? We certainly hope so — although in subjective matters such as this, we have a feeling it will be up for debate amongst you, our loyal readers.
And we are OK with that. We encourage healthy debate. It’s part of the fun of sports, after all. We mean no disrespect to the many worthy candidates we could have chosen. Ultimately, we just wanted to take a few more days to bask in the glorious memories that comprised the 2016-2017 school year. We hope you do the same — whether they are the memories made by our chosen few or the ones you created for yourself.
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong