“It takes a village to raise a child.”
Our work at The Cynthiana Democrat has recently been taken over by the activities and achievements of our county’s youth. Whether it’s end-of-the-year academic awards, a run in the state baseball tournament or graduation, it seems to be the season for kids.
Not that I’m complaining... I would rather sit through five awards ceremonies than one board meeting (no offense city commissioners). Kids are just... fun.
And it’s true... Harrison County, in general, prides itself on its youth.
I didn’t realize I was raised by a village until I came back to that village where I daily see the individuals that shaped me, if even in the smallest way - my elementary school P.E. teacher that offered kickball home run derby days, the father of my best friend (who served as an “extra father” those nights he drove me home when I missed my own parents too much to spend the night with his daughter), the florist who knows those who have sent me flowers and why, my assistant high school principal who always sent a donation to my college charity drive, and the many teachers who went out of their way to make a difference in my life.
I think we all have those special people that believed in us and supported our endeavors... no matter how foolish they might have thought those endeavors were at the time.
As a reporter, one of the things I enjoy most about covering an event or story is the feeling of being a fly on the wall. It’s almost like being invisible, all the while having a center-stage seat for all the action.
This past Thursday and Friday night, I photographed the Breds’ games in the state baseball tournament at Applebee’s Park.
First and foremost, let me explain that I am in no way a sports reporter, and this was my first sports photography gig.
But I do love a good ‘ole feature story... and I often found myself pointing my camera at the eager faces in the dugout and the large Harrison County crowd that was seated behind the Harrison County team.
“Good crowd tonight, coach,” I overheard one assistant baseball coach say to head coach Mac Whitaker Thursday night before the game.
“There always is,” Mac said, looking up into the stands.
While I’m sure there is much the 2009 HCHS baseball team will remember about their games at the Lexington stadium, I hope they never forget looking up into a stand full of Harrison County supporters.
Community support is truly an amazing, uplifting and empowering gift.
As I looked up to see what those players saw as they entered the field Thursday evening, I couldn’t help but think how a community’s support is vital for its youth... and therefore, the community’s future.
From personal experience, I can tell you that you never forget the community that raised you.
And it’s support that every Harrison County child deserves... whether he or she plays baseball, wins a speech tournament, excels in academics, shows livestock or just wants a place to skate.
It wasn’t a storybook ending for the Breds Friday night. But I dare say that the Harrison County crowd would have been at Applebee’s Stadium even if they knew the game would result in a loss. Because for this village, it’s not about the winning or losing, but the process... and the ongoing commitment of care and support for our youth.