Give all yoursupport to thestudent-athletes

The first Friday of the new high school football season is still a couple of weeks away here in Bladen County. But our local gridders have already been out in the elements — from sizzling sun to drizzling rain — working hard to prepare for the 2017.

Before that first kickoff on Aug. 25, East Bladen and West Bladen will be honing their skills in a couple of scrimmages, and both the Eagles and Knights are hoping to see their fan base come out in support.

Of course, there are also many other athletes working on their game to get ready for the fall sports prep season — those playing volleyball, soccer and girls tennis. And let’s not forget those who are putting in the hours of practice as part of the school cheering leading squad, band and flag corps.

All of these young people deserve our combined support. They aren’t just coming together to give us entertainment in the name of school pride, but they are also learning valuable life lessons like sportsmanship, teamwork and commitment. All of that will serve them well as they become productive members of our community for years to come.

If there is another group of individuals who deserve our collective kudos, its those who give of their time as coaches for each of these teams and groups. They are paid a paltry amount for the hours upon hours of time they give away from their families to instill positive values in those young student-athletes and group members. They do it, not because of the few extra dollars, but because they genuinely care about the youth and the community as a whole.

When the regular season arrives — in towns across the country — bands will be marching, cheerleaders will be twirling and spinning, and parents will be anxiously peering for a look at their son or daughter. And inevitably the game will begin, just as it does every year regardless of the economic or political conditions.

It’s special. It’s unique. It’s all about the kids.

So buckle up the chinstraps, and get the music going.

It’s almost kick-off time.


Kudos to Cade …


Elizabethtown golfer Cade Hancock continues to impress with some strong rounds and top-notch tournament finishes against world-class competition on PGA links. You can read about his latest accomplishment on Page 1A today.

We have thought all along that the young golfer has the potential to skyrocket into the college and potentially the pro scene, and his last year has done nothing to dissuade us.

We, along with some others who have helped and watched the 16-year-old progress, think he will be one to watch over the next handful of years — you might just see him on a Sunday afternoon in the last group.



“No one ever drowned in sweat.” (Lou Holtz)