Driving the backroads I so dearly love on my way to May I passed a sign to Carbon. That brought back a flood of memories. We used to play Carbon when I was in high school at Newcastle. Not only that but my Grandpa used to be the pastor at the United Methodist church there. Sad to see schools close as the world around us changes. I just might take that road for a trip down memory lane the next time I come this way.
Once on the May highway as I approached town I began to see lots of little shiny things in the afternoon sun. At first I thought someone had hung reflectors from a tree but as I got closer I began to see that the town of May had been decorated with very shiny sparkly green and silver ribbon. I had heard the cheerleaders had been working hard decorating the town, but I had no idea they had been working this hard. Every sign pole from about a mile out and every kind of pole in town had been decorated. You knew you were in Tiger Country. Left a happy impression on my heart. I can’t even begin to imagine the hours that went into dressing up the town for the coming season.
I followed the Tiger prints down the lane to the sports complex. No, I’m not exaggerating! It really is a complex. Softball, baseball, football, practice field, and so much more. I parked my little white Fiat, rolled down the windows, and seriously considered not getting out until the team hit the field. I should have followed my instincts and sat in the AC a bit longer. Instead, I got out and took cover in the only shade I could find by the big round burger pit. I was greeted with a few hellos by passing players and coaches coming and going from the dressing room. Once the boys came out, I left my blessed shade for the blinding heat of the afternoon.
Coach Steele greeted me and I was able to get an interview while the boys did their stretches. I then went to start taking photos. I knew with the heat I better get pictures fast. I went out a distance and was getting some low shots. I could hear the boys questioning each other as to why I was taking photos of them stretching. I chuckled to myself and thought because it’s hot, and I may not last long in the heat.
This was their first afternoon practice and when they took their first water break, you could tell I wasn’t the only one suffering. I felt so bad for them, but I guarantee you they were faring better than me. This wasn’t normal heat. This was not a cloud in the sky and rare movement of air kind of heat. It was HEAT! I figure if they can make it through this practice and keep most of their 27 players, they have a chance at a great season. Let's not forget their tried and true coaching staff.
Every time I visit May, I get a kick out of the water/equipment crew. They do a great job and also make for some wonderful photos. Watching them working together to move a huge tire around the field was photo gold. They were too young to worry about the heat or care. They were a bit shocked when they finished moving the tire and came back to find how much water had been drunk during the first break. They quickly got the Gator and zoomed more water to the field pronto! Real pro speedsters!
I started to physically feel the strength of the heat and decided to make it back to my car while I still could of my own free will. I started the AC and sat for a minute before making my way back down the lane through the Tiger prints and shiny streamers.
See you on the sidelines!
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