Spring sports and no regrets

By: Jim Linsdau/News Messenger/Placer Herald Sports Editor
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They say hope springs eternal … for those who know what that means; however, they are great sounding words. But the key word is hope and that’s what spring brings. Although spring is still about a month away, winter sports are rapidly winding down. Some local wrestlers are still grappling with the postseason and the Rocklin girls basketball team made it to the Sac-Joaquin Section Playoffs. That is where “hope” is supposed to lead but that achievement takes considerably more. Each new season tends to rejuvenate us in anticipation of what can still be achieved in spite of some past disappointments. Most all aspire to be No. 1 but that honor is reserved for one. There can be co-champions in the regular season but the postseason rapidly narrows the field. The year’s campaign begins in fall when all is hope and anticipation. Football is a 10-week, Friday night celebration where a single victory can make a season. The very best emerge to play games well into December. Meanwhile, those not in pads are generally involved in a twice-a-week grind. Each setback means more work with little time in between in which to do it. For seniors it’s the last time around tempered only by the fact two seasons remain – for multiple-sport athletes. Although autumn’s postseason can mean continued success, it can also slow the progress of winter’s games. Schools waiting for players to complete one season in order to compete in another are at a disadvantage. And those with aspirations beyond high school have to consider the classroom as well. Spring is that magical time of year when things seem as if they will only get better. It’s a time when the fruits of earlier labors begin to pay off. Seniors tend to have more free time and underclassmen figure there’s always next year. Everything is in season, baseball, softball, soccer, swimming, golf – even spring football. No waiting for the gym to clear as most of the games are outdoors. And the postseason merely leads into summer vacation. It’s a time to reflect, and enjoy. With up to eight sports to choose from there’s plenty of opportunity to play. And eight more chances to earn a championship to make up for those past disappointments. Like Whitney High’s all-everything tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick said, “Cherish every moment. You don’t get these minutes, seconds, practices and games back. You want to make everyone of them count so when you look back you don’t have any regrets.” Jalen heads for the University of Southern California this spring to play football – no regrets.