Athens Review, Athens, Texas

May 16, 2014

Area athletes stand up and give yourself a hand

Joe Elerson
The Athens Review

Athens — This one goes out to the high school athletes across the Henderson County area.

Yes, they are the ones that I see on the field of battle throughout a school year.

You have made it to the end of another successful year, and you are being recognized for your honors.

I have already been to three athletic banquets this season to see the honors given to area athletes. I will get to see honorees from Eustace, Cross Roads and Athens in the next three weeks.

You may think attending a high school athletic banquet is boring, but your coaches, booster clubs and parents are proud of the year you have had.

The sports journalists enjoy the night also, since it gives them one last chance to showcase what you have done during the year.

For me, this is one of the final chances I have to visit with some of the seniors, and to put together one last All-Henderson County set of teams.

Yes, we still have two more teams to select, as baseball and softball will wrap up their year in June.

The year has seen a lot of great moments with district champions, area champions, regional qualifiers and state qualifiers across Henderson County.

Our athletes should be proud of what they have done this year. We have had lots of playoff action in all sports on some of the biggest and best stages.

We have had playoff series that fans wish would not have ended the way they did because they were the most competitive that I have seen in a long time.

New York Yankees second baseman Derek Jeter – who will be retiring from the game of baseball this year – said, “There may be people that have more talent than you, but there is no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.”

Following an extra inning season loss by the Athens Hornets against Chapel Hill in the bi-district round of the baseball playoffs, Athens coach Dallas Robertson said his athletes proved what hard work was all about.

“It is hard, and I told them that I would never forget them,” the coach said. “Being a first year coach, what is in your mind is what kind of a kid are they going to be, and are they going to buy in. I am extremely proud of what we did this year, and we just fell short.”

This quote is one that I see a lot of from our athletes because we have some of the hardest working kids, who will bounce back from an injury, and prove they belong on the field.

Our area coaches are some of the best motivators and teachers of their respective fields. It is amazing to see how grateful they are for the student athletes that come out to play for these great coaches.

It will be sad to see these final sports banquets from the county, as we wrap up another sports season.

It is amazing to see how proud each athlete is when they walk across the stage, and hug their coach, as they tell the crowd the accomplishments they have achieved.

It is also a special time, when you hear what each student has achieved in the classroom, while spending countless hours working on improving their skills in their sports.

The pleasure for me is to attend our schools in Athens, Brownsboro, Cross Roads, Malakoff, Eustace, Kemp, Mabank, LaPoynor, Trinidad and also Trinity Valley, and to hear thanks for all I have done to help in their success.

I may not be connected to most schools, but when I get a chance to talk with the student athletes about any topic in their lives, it makes me proud to know what they will do in the future.

As we say goodbye to our latest round of seniors, I want to say how proud I am of what you have done this past year.

I know your family, friends, coaches and fans are proud of you as well.

Joe Elerson is the sports writer for the Athens Review. He can be reached at sportseditor@athensreview.com.