Sports: New Year brings a clean slate

Jan. 5—In fairly tales little elves come into the cobbler's shop at night and fix all the shoes.

I'd settle for a couple to flip over all my calendars so they say 2024. Happy New Year is the cry. We'll see, is the reply.

Just looking ahead, the first thing I see is the Michigan-Washington College Football Championship. I don't have a favorite, but that Husky dog may be the prettiest college mascot. You can keep your wolverine.

I heard an announcer calling talking about NFL football the other day and as we all know, announcers don't know anything about football. He said Dak Prescott is a good quarterback, but is not special.

Will Dak prove the critics wrong and show he's not just a serviceable quarterback, but among the elite. We'll see.

In February, training camp begins for MLB and the Texas Rangers will come to camp as the reigning World Series Champion. Will they continue the play that made them kings of the grand old game, or will they fall back to the pack?

Or will they have another roller coaster year, like 2022? I guess we'll see.

What about our local sports teams. Can TVCC return the Cards and Lady Cards to the national tournament? They certainly look primed to do so as conference play heats up again, but there are a lot of games to be played, then the conference tournament where upsets can, and often do, happen.

And in high school sports, will any of our locals make a playoff run? We've got a few baseball and softball teams that look as if they've got what it takes to reach post season and should be fun to watch.

I can't wait to take in a game at the upgraded Athens baseball and softball facility.

Then in the fall, will Malakoff return as one of the top teams in Class 3A? Will Athens benefit from the drop down to Class 4A Division 2. Will some of our teams that struggled in 2023, get a jumpstart this year and make it back to the playoff picture.

On top of the usual sports, this is an Olympic year. Everybody's heading to France in July for the competition. Can Simone Biles win another goal? Who will be the new faces that emerge on the world stage.

I've seen many sportscasters and columnists make bold predictions during the past year. I don't remember anyone picking the Rangers, but overall they're about 50% off. Looking at the landscape of sports this year, I don't mind stepping up and saying with great confidence — we'll see. And that's what makes it fun.