I have spent most of the past 10 days immersed in Honesdale Lady Hornets basketball.
By no fault of his own, sports editor Kevin Edwards has been sipping umbrella drinks while digging with his toes in the sands of Florida.
Thus, I was tasked with covering the Lady Hornets while they made a run in the PIAA state tournament.
Though it was quite a bit of extra work, the result was wonderful. Not that the team lost its second round game, mind you, but the fact I was able to experience what unfolded.
From a big win in Dunmore to open the tournament to the heartbreaking loss at Hazleton last Wednesday that ended a great local story, it was good in many respects.
What I found the most enjoyable was how the community rallied around this bunch of high school girls. They are all good kids who work hard and it was fantastic to see so many fans come out and enjoy the spirit of the Honesdale High School community.
Too many times we dwell on the bad things in life. It's just the nature of our beast. But there are good stories out there, as well.
This was a good story.
With the exception of one game last year, it had been a long time since I had covered a basketball game. I grew up in Indiana and cut my journalism teeth in sports, so it was not unfamiliar territory.
In many respects, it was like riding a bicycle. As soon as the opening buzzer sounded, I instinctively knew what to do in covering a basketball game.
It was a lot of fun for me.
So often, I am writing about issues like borough controversies or a bank robbery or ...
You get the picture.
Being able to cover the Lady Hornets for 10 days was a nice change of pace for me.
As a sportswriter, you can sometimes take off your hat of neutrality and root for the team you are covering. That was the case with the Lady Hornets.
I was thrilled they won the opening round game and, like the fans at Hazleton, my heart sank as the second round game slipped away in the fourth quarter on Wednesday night.
I was also proud of the team for what they accomplished. It takes a lot of dedication from the girls to gel into a team like the Lady Hornets. You can tell they are friends. They have ups and downs like everyone.
So do the people who are watching them play. We get angered when a referee makes a bad call. We cheer when that big three-point shot sees nothing but the bottom of the net.
Page 2 of 2 - Indeed, we all did become a family for a few days.
Those are days I will always remember.
And when Kevin is sipping his umbrella drink next March, I'll be right there covering and rooting for the Lady Hornets once again.
Thanks for the memories, girls, they mean a lot.
Little is editor of The Wayne Independent and can be reached at email@example.com.