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July 19, 2012 8:25 am

The Sports Guy: The end, or beginning, is nigh

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Once upon a time, before my entire life seemed to revolve around sports schedules, practice schedules and the hyperactive wanderings of two small children, I would consider this week to be roughly the midpoint of my summer experience.

I know better now. This isn’t a midpoint. This is closer to the end.

Babe Ruth baseball is at state, meaning that by this time next week the season will either be finished or we’ll be doing some flash fundraising amid a host of celebration here in Wyoming’s baseball capital.

The Little Leaguers, as I write this, are embroiled in district play over in Cody, again meaning that the end could be in sight, or we could be celebrating some state qualifications at this time next week.

Meanwhile, things are ramping up for Powell to play host to the North district American Legion baseball tournament next week. Whatever your level, you’d best be humming a chorus or two of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

But we’re more than that. Consider, faithful reader, that we’re less than two weeks away from Northwest College student-athletes arriving on campus to begin fall preparations. That means Cabre Gymnasium will soon be alive with the sights and sounds of head coach Shaun Pohlman’s second season that will ramp up toward the Region IX North tournament taking place on campus later this fall. That means the soccer practice fields in the community will soon be a blur of activity as the Trapper men look to begin their Region IX title defense while the women take the next step in the program’s growth.

Shortly after that, all you armchair quarterbacks will be happy to know the sights and sounds of NFL football will once again permeate your television sets. Granted, it’s only preseason, but after all these football-free months, do we really care that the games won’t matter?

We’re less than a month away from the start of fall practices at Powell High School. That’s less than a month before we begin to see how state title defenses in boys’ golf and football start to shape up and how the Panthers’ other programs look to be able to build upon last season and move up the 3A standings.

Another bone for the pigskin obsessed — we’re only 44 days away from the first major weekend of college football season.

Can the first signs of snowflakes be very far behind?

So, yes faithful reader, once upon a time this may have been the middle of summer. As you can see, though, the sights and sounds of autumn aren’t very far away and they’ll be stampeding through the door any moment now.

That said, there’s still ample time to escape to the high country or enjoy your favorite summer recreational activity of choice. So take advantage of this time to get out and do some hiking, some horseback riding or some blue-ribbon fishing. The winter snows have long melted away. The higher-elevation wildflower bloom is peaking, making meadows in both the Beartooths and the Bighorns awash in an artist’s pallette of colors. Area lakes are full and calling out for lazy afternoons out on the water under the sun and I’ve been told there’s still an abundance of birdies to be found on the region’s golf courses.

And by all means, please turn out these next couple of weeks to root, root, root for the home teams. Whatever your activity of choice, just get out and spend some time doing it.

Whether you enjoy the summer or look forward to the start of the fall sports season, we’re just past the mid-point of July. If you’re a fan of summer, consider this your warning that the end is nigh. If you’re one of those folks who finds the fall more fun, then rejoice because it isn’t that far off.

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