I am going to miss East Carbon High School sports.
When I sat in the Carbon School District board room two weeks ago and heard the vote that would close the school, it suddenly dawned on me that I would no longer watch a Viking player shag a ball in the center field at Sunnyside Park or watch a basket fly through the air in the name of ECH in the Viking Gym.
Over the five years I have been working at the Sun Advocate, I have spent nearly three of them covering ECH sports for this paper. I watched some very good baseball teams and I also saw some programs that struggled. I saw some outstanding athletes and athletic plays, and I saw some awful botches on the court and on the field.
I am going miss these kids playing their sports under the banner of the red and blue. Sure many of those that would have held those colors high will now have Carbon blue on instead, but some won't either.
Until I covered ECH athletics I never understood the allure of the small school sports program. A place where nearly every kid who wanted to play could play, regardless of talent or size. Having attended a high school a bit bigger than Carbon, I always thought the larger schools had the fun because of the competitiveness. I was wrong; the small schools are just as competitive and they take their athletics just as seriously.
I am going to miss the visits of teams from places like Dugway, Wendover, Eureka, Altamont, Trout Creek, Manila, Green River and White Horse. None of those are exotic sounding venues, but just the same it was interesting to see how tall they grow 'em in those little towns, many of which are a lot like East Carbon.
What I am going to miss the most is the kids. Despite the size of our small paper, they always made me feel special when I came to their school, whether I was covering a near state championship baseball team or a basketball team with no wins. They always seemed glad I was there.
When the high school athletic season opens next fall, there will be no more baseballs and volleyballs flying in the east county area. I will not be making those long drives from Price in the dusk to see basketball games or to hear a hundred or even sometimes two hundred fans cheer their neighborhood kids on.
But i will always remember it. Because East Carbon High and it's kids have endeared themselves to me, and a vote to close the school can't change that.