Random ramblings from the comfy tan recliner because, hey, it’s been a busy week already, with a birthday on Monday and a string of events on Wednesday …
As ready as I may say I am for the spring sports season, which is nearing the halfway mark, I’m still recovering from the winter. Celebration boys soccer advanced to the state semifinals, prompting four trips out to venerable CHS. I love all my Storm fans out there, but could they put that school any farther back there in the woods?
Osceola’s wrestlers made their annual run to the state finals, which was much easier to get to at Silver Spurs Arena, and this year they brought a couple of Harmony’s best guys on the mat along for the ride. Congrats to OHS’ Malyke Hines for defending his state title, to his younger brother, Jaekus, a state runner-up at the smallest weight class (106 pounds) who proved as a freshman he’ll be a force for three years, and to Harmony senior Carter Harris, who fought mightily to go out a state champion in the biggest weight class (285) but came up a couple points short. They all ended the year district an regional champions.
Then, in girls basketball, City of Life Christian made it worth while to travel down to Lakeland — twice — as it rolled to its first state championship in any sport. There’s a special buzz whenever you walk into the RP Funding Center (it’ll always be The Lakeland Center to me, but I don’t write — or cash — corporate sponsorship checks), and if you’re there to write 700 or so words about a team, it sure helps the cause if they win their last game and have really positive things to say.
As you can sense, I’m having the time of my life, and there’s still a couple months left in the school sports season. In the spring, everything is going on at the same time, so I’m doing my best to rotate around to baseball, softball, tennis, track, boys weightlifting, girls flag football, water polo, lacrosse and boys volleyball. (That’s all? You sure we can’t sneak a little synchronized diving or field hockey in there?)
I guess what I’m trying to say is … I’ll get around to everybody. Eventually …
… Thank goodness for those winners from the winter. Because the pro sports scene around here needs a jolt, and it might have gotten it on Saturday.
Certainly not from the Orlando Magic, who have been in an express lane race to the bottom for years, in the name of getting to draft a top teenage talent. Sadly, for the NBA, about seven other teams are also in that colossal pillow fight to have the worst record as well (“Play like dung to draft Trae Young!”). You’re either fit to win the title or tanking the season to win the Draft.
By the way, the Association can fix this mess by giving the even-numbered spots in the Draft Lottery to the non-playoff teams with the best records after the All-Star Game.
Speaking of messes to fix, I’m not sure the Orlando City Lions have tweaked their lack of victory problems either, with their 0-2-1 start to the year. The community really embraced pro soccer in this town, but it wants a winner, and the team has yet to prove it is one in its fourth season.
That leaves the Orlando Pride, who opened the National Women’s Soccer League season Saturday with a 1-1 draw. The Pride have three players — Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux and Brazil’s Marta — who can send pelotas into the back of the net. The problem is that these world-class ladies aren’t household names. Will that change? Well, their game on Saturday at Washington is on national television, but you have to remember where the Lifetime network is on your cable lineup.
And, of course, if all else fails, there’s our own Florida Fire Frogs, who open their Florida State League baseball season next weekend, chock-full of the Atlanta Braves’ best minor-league talent, and a soon-to-be-named indoor soccer team that will call the Silver Spurs Arena home.
There’s gotta be a winner out there somewhere … speaking of which, the Eagles really did win the Super Bowl, right? Trust me, I’m not the only fan still confirming we didn’t dream it …
… I get a vision of a story I wouldn’t mind happening this time of year. Scott Birchler, Bo O’Dell, Jim Moran, Chris Arago and yours truly walk into a bar. We order a round, talk baseball for about 10 minutes, then spend the rest of the evening toasting and talking about how much we miss Mike Fields.