I’ll cover the two regional track meets this week where Times-Union area athletes have earned berths to keep their seasons alive.

The usual attrition rate will result in the end of these athletes’ seasons and – in some cases – athletic careers.

Things get quiet on the oval, in the pits, on the tennis courts, and on the diamonds in the Times-Union readership area once the Memorial Day sun has set.

It’s not a knock. It’s a fact. Everyone can’t advance. I projected – in a column two years ago – what schools’ spring sports programs were not going to have to have a private graduation ceremony due to schedule conflicts with semi-state and state finals among their respective sports.

I haven’t speculated such a thing in print since May 2021, and I shall continue to refrain from such speculation hereafter.

I’m sharing what I enjoyed about the 2023 spring sports season today instead of speculating.

First and foremost, the Warsaw Lady Tigers softball team, the group I saw the most because of my PA announcer role, made my heart happy despite their won-loss record.

I noted in recent game coverage articles the energy and unrelenting spirit fans, coaches, and officials witnessed wasn’t studied, nor mandated from their first-year head coach Sam Tew.

The Lady Tiger coach noted, with sincere modesty if you recall, it was organic.

I tip my hat to athletes assuming team leadership roles who created a contagion of high energy, persistence, and a culture of winning versus learning instead of winning versus losing.

I enjoyed watching Lady Tiger girls’ track and field because their opponents are aiming to match Warsaw’s perennial level of excellence. The Lady Tigers turned in some great performances as “the hunted” instead of being unnerved by their opponents’ intense pursuit.

The team lost its first dual meet in ages at the launch of the season, but they spent the rest of the season competing with themselves successfully, and maintaining impressive multi-decade runs of conference and sectional championships.

The beauty of watching the Lady Tigers is knowing this team’s core is younger than it has been in several seasons, and those athletes comprising the rebuild/reload are already seeing their names frequently appear on-line and in print.

I love Tiger sports, but I love high school sports altogether.

I enjoyed some strokes on social media I received for coverage of events, especially when other schools whose battles with the Tigers were noted with reverence in my article covering the Princes Relays in Mishawaka.

It was a stroke of luck, for me.

Ordinarily, I would have covered the Max Truex invitational, but it was cancelled.

I was asked to augment the usual PA announcer by Mishawaka’s athletic department, and I took notes while I worked the mic so I could wrap a story around a very enjoyable meet even though Warsaw – for the first time since 2017 – was neither the champion nor the runner-up.

Warsaw’s grit in the distance medley, coming from behind to clinch the win in the event and crush the record, made my evening. I suddenly forgot how cold I was.

I received DMs and likes from some Duneland schools/fans who competed in the event for the article, and in one specific case, the announcing.

Warsaw Lady Tiger softball played another role in my satisfying spring sports experience.

The program and its opponents’ junior varsity numbers resulted in the cancellation of numerous games this season, and some JV coaches and players helped fill some roles for home events.

The press box has been populated with younger-than-usual event assistance throughout the entire season.

Most of the time the youth movement – for lack of a better term - handled pregame music, walkup music, and scoreboard operation.

I noticed two things when working among these folks: a little extra time at the outset instructing and directing them among their respective roles paid off immediately, and everyone – once instructed – performed her tasks with no need for remediation.

Some of these young folks already knew what they were doing, too; turn-key.

I entered the season highly strung with the youth movement in place because I worry about song content, how players and coaches in the press box would behave when calls were questionable, and how to reset a scoreboard operator error in real time.

It did not take very long for me to be comfortable with each person helping run the game from the press box, and – with the Lady Tiger softball season in the books as of this morning – I enjoyed working with each person.

Some of those kids will likely be on the field more frequently when JV softball numbers return to normal levels next year. It made me think, though, that most high school sports events are comprised of mostly middle-aged event workers.

There are numerous young people whose comprehension speed, classy behavior, and energy would be a welcome addition to athletic event staffs throughout the U.S.A.

We middle-agers have things handled well, but I am genuinely concerned if there are enough people who want to take the baton when it’s time for people like me to finish our work at sporting events.

I’m particularly concerned, moving in a slightly different direction, with the dearth of interest among younger people as it relates to freelance writing, especially for print media.

I’m impressed with Connor McCann’s Z-lennial energy, and his enthusiasm toward serving as a print-media Sports section editor. Connor and I strongly believe a sports page with lots of local coverage is the ideal situation for newspapers like the Times-Union.

There are so many teams to cover, but there are two human beings to cover them. One of them is responsible for content and layout immediately after a ballgame - and currently has not flirted with cloning technology - and the other spins a few plates in the air. We put heart into what we cover, nonetheless.

It still boggles my mind what a lack of interest there seems to be among young people wanting to cover high school sports in a free-lance role.

Even if you’re a young person who might eventually pursue business or technical roles, the reps you’ll get from continuous writing are valuable and very transferable in whatever field you land.

There are a few more weeks in the scholastic sports year, and this spring was the most enjoyable spring sports season for me. Thanks to each of you who contributed to my enjoyment.