Dennis Clayton

Our fall sports season is winding down and this has been a season filled with a lot of first time happenings that accompanied a rather unusual season that has had its fill of highs and lows. 

One of the firsts that happened early on was Myrtle football playing their first on-campus football game in September as they welcomed they Walnut Wildcats from neighboring Tippah County. 

I attended school at Myrtle during the 60's and 70's and I never dreamed that the Hawks would one day not only have a football team, but that they would also have a really nice field on campus was way beyond my comprehension. If you happen to be going that was, drive by and give it a look, Myrtle has one of the best facilities in the state for a 1A school and it's better than many complexes in larger divisions, in fact. 

This week, the Hawks will have another first as they host their first-ever football homecoming game. Previously, since they had no home field, the Hawks would celebrate homecoming during the basketball season, so this will be yet another milestone for Myrtle and I look forward to covering it. 

We can now move along to volleyball for our next sets of firsts as we have three Union County teams that will compete in the playoffs for the first time ever. This comes after our county schools took up the sport in 2019, so it's quite remarkable and a testimony for the hard work and effort that our players, coaches and schools put into the new sport.

Our teams that made the playoffs are Ingomar, Myrtle and West Union. Ingomar and Myrtle faced each other in the opening round on Tuesday while West Union was paired with Hickory Flat in their playoff match. 

Congratulations to all of these teams for this huge accomplishment in volleyball! Special praise goes to coaches Andy Wilbanks, Robert Gordon and Lisa Bogue for leading their teams to the postseason.

We will close out our season of firsts with the New Albany volleyball as they won their division for a fourth consecutive year which is also a first. 

Coach Ashley Connolly and the Bulldogs had a major rebuilding year after losing four key starters from last season's 4A state runner-up team, but the young team led by three seniors put it all together in division and again came out on top. 

New Albany played host to Louisville in their opening round match and the winner is scheduled to play Pontotoc in round two. 

Congratulations to all our teams and athletes on a very exciting and competitive fall sports season, just a few more weeks and we will call it a wrap and head into the winter sports scene. 

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