Thank God for air conditioning

Published 5:00 am Thursday, July 31, 2003

It could be hotter outside and thank God for airconditioning.

Catching up on a few items, dripping sweat and wonderingwhatever happened to the lazy days of summer. Thirty years ago,families often took a week-long vacation in the early weeks ofAugust. Nowadays, school starts too early, three weeks before LaborDay.

Remember when you started school on the first Tuesday orWednesday after Labor Day? That’s back when schools didn’t havecentral air-conditioning and the only relief was an isolating fan,located close to the teacher’s desk.

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If you think you’re hot, consider the fate of the public schoolfootball players who start preseason practice Monday. Don’t forgetthe private school athletes who started a week earlier. Coaches andplayers already have been broiled, baked and sauteed this week,with not a drop of rain in sight to cool the sauna conditions.

Drink lots of liquids, especially water, before and afterpractice. It’s important to stay hydrated.

Sweat-soaked, slowpitch girls softball practice also beganMonday. Brookhaven’s Lady Panthers, under the direction of headcoach Lisa Covington, will host a Classic doubleheader on Saturday,Aug. 9, at the Hansel King Sportsplex. The early games aresanctioned by the Mississippi High School ActivitiesAssociation.

Work continues on The DAILY LEADER’s annual Gridiron Preview.Coaches are encouraged to return those football questionnaires assoon as possible.

This year’s Early Bird Award goes to Dom Green of SouthwestMississippi Community College. Green was the first coach to returna DL questionnaire. That promptness earns him a 1-week vacation inBude. It will be more fun when the new lake opens in rural FranklinCounty.

Green’s Southwest Bears kick off their season on Thursday, Sept.4, hosting the Coahoma Tigers. His assistant coaches are DougLucas, Ken Miller and Ryan Ross. Ross, a Brookhaven native; andLucas both coached at Brookhaven in the past. Ross served asBrookhaven’s offensive coordinator last season.

What did you do on your vacation?

Thought you would never ask. Part of my time was spent mowingthe lawn, running the weedeater and picking figs. My wife, Laurie,prefers picking the pink-eyed butterbeans, a palate-pleasing item.Besides, she is the agriculture expert. I just run the tiller anddo part of the hoeing.

This was our first summer to have a garden in several years. Wewere blessed with plenty of rain and sunshine so the crops producedquite well. Fresh tomatoes are hard to beat. So is okra, boiled andfried.

Are you familiar with a Sink Sandwich?

You put sliced tomatoes on white bread, add mayonnaise and thenstand over the sink to eat the juicy concoction. Keep a roll ofpaper towels handy, too.

We also had the opportunity to play golf at the BrookhavenCountry Club. BCC General Manager and PGA pro Ronny Ross hasbrought the course a long way, with the able assistance of JayO’Hern plus a hard-working, dedicated staff. The lush layout isstarting to mature and has received statewide accolades. Ed Norwoodworks behind the counter in the pro shop and provides a friendlywelcome to all golfers.

Last Friday, on my birthday, I had the opportunity to play golfwith Co-Lin assistant football coaches Lauren Collins and PaulPurvis. It was one of their last chances to play golf beforeplunging into preseason practice.

We came close to making a hole-in-one on the par-3, 173-yard,15th hole. My drive stopped about 10 feet from the hole. Whatfollowed was a 3-putt which made me realize I needed to practice alot more on the lightning-fast greens. It felt like I was puttingwith a 2×4 piece of pine lumber.

As we marched to the 16th tee box, trying to forget the 3-putt,an historic moment was taking place on the nearby seventh hole.Arthur McCadney of Simpson County was launching an ace. He used aTitleist ball and a 7-iron from the 154-yard tee box.

Collins had been watching McCadney’s group while I began mybackswing on the par-5, 511-yard 16th tee. Collins yelped loudly ashe watched McCadney’s ball roll into the hole. I thought someonehad been speared with an arrow or stung by a wasp.

High-fives were exchanged while McCadney smiled from ear to ear.It was his first ace. Maybe one of these days, we will join thatelite group. Of course, the key is playing more golf.

What happened to the Brookhaven Bandits?

Brookhaven’s wooden bat team, composed of college level players,had a losing record and a rain-soaked, off year. A shortage ofpowerful pitching did them in during several games, plus a lack ofoffense.

Bandits Michael Clements, Robert Young, Lance Deville and LaytonDavis made the Cotton State League’s all-star team and played inthe state semipro tournament. They didn’t make it to thefinals.

Deville threw a one-hitter in his victory in the semiprotournament. He’ll be a sophomore at Co-Lin this fall.

To contact sports editor Tom Goetz, write to him at P.O. Box551, Brookhaven, MS, 39601; or e-mail him