This is one of my favorite times in our sports calendar. We have our fall sports crowning state champions, and next week schools around the area will kick off their 2012-13 winter sports slate.
The spirit of competition is alive and well.
And as I sit eagerly awaiting the kickoff of the Monett vs. John Burroughs Class 3 state semifinal game, I do so with a heavy heart.
This morning I hugged A1C Kellen Carr, my brother, for the final time before he deploys to Afghanistan for the first time. Kellen, like many service men and women, was a high school athlete and remains an avid fan despite currently being stationed in Japan. Unfortunately, freedom is never truly free.
Every day, domestically and abroad, millions of brave Americans front the bill with their time, selfless service and in some cases their life. All to allow us to enjoy the blessing that is being an American, including our beloved sports. Their sacrifices serve as a daily reminder that regardless of how important a game may seem at the end of the day it is just that, a game.
So today, as we stand five days from Thanksgiving and six days from last week's Veteran's Day, I ask you to remember that one percent that defends our nation. Honor those past, praise those present, and thank those future.
Thank you to your husbands, wives, sons and daughters.