It was one of those moments made for a sports movie.
This week, to celebrate the first anniversary of my employment at the Gazette-Tribune, I temporarily allow the issue to highjack my sports column to talk about the politics of eating Big Bird, and how the thought set off a Twitter bomb with “Tonasket” written all over it … sorry, better make that #Tonasket, since we are talking Twitter.
It’s been a month since my last column, and while there is plenty to write about, nothing sticks out as something to write about at length. The smoke and the flies that have infested our office at the Gazette-Tribune aren’t the only things that are bugging me. So, here we go…
I’m one of those people who can’t quite get enough of the Olympics. I won’t confess to being a rhythmic gymnastics addict, but I love watching some of the lesser-known sports and seeing the same levels of skill and passion we often see elsewhere. Watching a bunch of NBA stars jumping around like high school kids after winning gold was pretty cool.
Coaching changes don’t necessarily bring about different results. There are many factors that have contributed to Tonasket’s team sport struggles in the CTL, not the least of which is being the smallest school in the league.
It’s taken me years to figure out why I’ve come to love the sport of wrestling. Not the WWE variety; the “Olympic” style that concluded its high school season at the WIAA’s Mat Classic XXIV in the Tacoma Dome this past weekend. Wrestling has been an acquired taste for me. There’s not much pretty about it: it doesn’t feature the ballet-like athleticism of high-level basketball, the explosive playmaking of football, the languid pace punctuated by feats of impossible speed and precision of baseball.
What’s to love about a sport that features equal parts blood, sweat, pain and the constant threat of heartbreak?
When it comes to high school sports, it’s always about much more than just the final score.
Admittedly, moments like those following Tonasket’s streak-breaking, 56-55 victory over Omak last Thursday that make the value of school sports easier appreciate.
It was a sweet victory for the Tigers, to be sure. And while it’s easy to get excited about a one-point buzzer-beater, the depth of emotion in the post-game celebration spoke to a lot more than just a victory in a game.
It’s still the most telling sports photo I’ve ever seen. Two kids on a ladder, about to cut the net down from a basketball rim. A typical pose after championship games. But what’s different is the looks of crushing shock on their faces, mouths wide open, the net beside them hanging untouched.