11/27/09 — Many blesses to be thankful for as writer

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Many blesses to be thankful for as writer

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on November 27, 2009 9:12 AM

When I moved to Goldsboro in August of 2007 to work at the News-Argus, little did I know the ride that sports in Wayne County and the surrounding areas would take me on.

Two years ago, the rivalries, the athletes, the coaches and venues that make sports in this area so special were all foreign to me. Since then I've been reminded often how privileged I am to be a witness to so many great moments for a living.

* I've stood on the sidelines or sat behind home plate and witnessed the intensity that is the C.B. Aycock and Eastern Wayne rivalry.

* I've had the fortune of covering blossoming young stars before they continued their careers collegiately or in some cases professionally.

* The glow of Friday night lights and the ever-so-sweet sound of the ping of a baseball connecting with an aluminum bat have become things I live for. I've come to appreciate a well-timed double-play and a game-winning two-out rally.

* I've come to appreciate the relentless hours of hard work coaches and players put in that most people never see. I've also come to understand the emotional peaks and valleys that accompany the pain of a losing season or the joy that comes with overdue success.

* An evening spent watching a ballgame while swapping laughs and strengthening friendships inside a press box is something I no longer take for granted.

* I've been fully immersed in the growing phenomenon that is Mount Olive College baseball and the pleasures of a Saturday afternoon at Scarborough Field. I've gotten to hear Kornegay Arena rock as the final few seconds of a victory over Barton tick away.

I've also gotten to know talented young athletes that were just as impressive off the field as they were on it. I continue to be inspired by these people after learning that their lives were cut short by tragedy.

Coaches who inspire me just as much as they do their players have not only become acquaintances but in many cases they're now friends of mine.

Being blessed with a job in one of the greatest professions in the world.

That's one of many things I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving.