Boy, was I wrong.
Over the past two months, I have taken in many athletic events within the county, including some that I have had to travel to, following the teams around the region.
One thing that I can tell you is that I am truly impressed with the level of dedication and professionalism that all of the coaches and parents have put into the development of not only high school athletics, but recreation leagues also.
While attending Richmond Senior football practice over the past week and a half, I have witnessed this first-hand, as I have watched the coaches shape their players into what they expect them to be on the field, and have seen the players transform themselves from what they were at the start of the camp.
This wasn’t the first time that I had witnessed this. I watched the travel all-stars teams in the Rockingham and Hamlet recreation leagues prepare themselves for the tournaments they were participating in, and I have seen it numerous times with the travel softball team, and the summer league for the Richmond baseball team.
No matter what sport I am reporting on, the level of preparation never changes with the coaches, or the players.
Speaking with Richmond head football coach Paul Hoggard this past week, I asked him what makes the Raider program so special.
He replied, “Tradition.”
I see the athletes on the field buying into that tradition and the system that is presented to them, and it is an impressive sight.
When I took this job, I came from a college newspaper where people were obligated to talk with you about what was going on with their programs, and how they saw their team shaping up for the future.
What I didn’t expect was the level of acceptance the teams, coaches, and parents of the athletes that I have the opportunity to cover have shown me.
This is what makes my job so special: The interaction with the parents, players and coaches I come into contact with every day.
While some people can be satisfied with just going to work, sitting in their cubicle or at their desk, and be satisfied until they retired, that is not me.
I enjoy going out to the practice fields and traveling to the games to see the players and the parents. I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
Everyone has a back story, or something about them that makes them genuinely interesting to talk with.
But for me, the players, and coaches are the most interesting stories to tell and are the most helpful people I have had the pleasure to come into contact with.
I’m simply saying thank you to the coaches, players and parents that I have come into contact with. I will look forward to meeting more of you in the future as I continue to cover Richmond County sports.
Contact sports reporter Travis Anderson at 997-3111 ext. 44 or via e-mail at email@example.com