Dennis Clayton

Dennis Clayton

Covering sports is really a cool beat for an old dude like me. You get to go out in public and meet people, watch ballgames, talk about what you saw, experienced and then try to relate that to someone who perhaps wasn't there. 

It's fun, it's rewarding and it's pretty awesome. I enjoy the players, coaches administration and fans. I deal with real people in the real world that are doing and playing real things - sports. 

For the most part, there is nothing phony or false about what is going on, especially on the high school level. Now when you get to the professional level, yep, lots of nonsense, political activism, selfishness and downright greed going on, but not on my beat. 

We are out here following the athletes we love, playing at the schools we love, on the teams that we love, participating in the various sports that we love. It's ALL for the love of the game. 

I like to think that when a person gets to the pages of the section that I homestead in, that being sports of course, that they can take a breath of fresh air, relax and chill. A place to kinda get away from all the politics, false narratives, fake news, mask frauds and contempt that is going on in the main section of most papers. 

I'm by no means a fan of former chief justice of the Supreme Court, Earl Warren, but I do like a quote that was attributed to him regarding sports: "I always turn to the sports pages first. The sports page record people's accomplishments; the front page has nothing but man's failures."

Sports teach us that we are not always going to win or get our way, but they teach us to get up when we are knocked, brush the dust off and try, try again. Currently there are a lot of protestors burning and tearing up stuff because they got participation trophies, that's not good, you need to learn how win win graciously and how to build off a defeat.

Baseball great Babe Ruth said it best: "It's hard to beat a person who never gives up." That applies to life just as much as it does to sports. Never, ever let anyone put you down or beat you up for what you believe, stand by your convictions and never quit. 

We live in a world of social media censoring and suppression just because of one's political views or someone who they support or listen to on the radio or follow on the internet. I am so thankful that in prep sports, we can follow the teams we want, the athletes we want and the sports that we want without that fear of intimidation. 

Some folks say sports is mainly an escape and in some terms maybe it is, but I have found high school sports to have the most genuine, most caring, most lovable and most passionate people that one can ever hope to know. I deal with REAL people and that's totally awesome!

Covering sports has most definitely been a blessing to me and I hope to be able to hang around for a few more seasons with my big Gazette prep sports family at all five of my schools.

As the wise former New York Yankee, Yogi Berra said: "It ain't over till it's over."

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