Jeff Haws’ Top 10 List

With basketball closing out last weekend in Macon, a bit of depression started to set in among some of our colleagues at The List HQ.

First, football ended. Now, basketball. Where’s a high school sports obsessive to turn around these parts now that we go into the spring?

But buck up, everybody. Don’t start turning all your attention to cleaning the house just yet, no matter what your wife might say.

The spring is actually pretty darn awesome in its own right. Don’t believe us? Oh, ye of little faith. Have we ever steered you wrong? OK, maybe we have, but we certainly aren’t here. Read on, for 10 reasons to keep watching in the spring.

10. Soccer game length

The best thing about soccer may very well be the way they keep time. When you head out to a soccer match this spring, you know it’ll be 40 minutes for the first half, 40 for the second, and about 10 for halftime. Toss in a handful of minutes for stoppage time, and you’re in and out in fewer than 100 minutes every time. Something to be said for knowing when you’ll be headed home, eh?

9. Get summer break afterward

Let’s face it, we could all use a bit of a breather this time of year. All the screaming at football and basketball games can get pretty exhausting. So when spring comes, what you know is that summer is just around the corner, and you can enjoy the final push toward a much-deserved respite for us all. Make the most of it.

8. Smaller crowds

Everybody shows up for big football games. Parents, friends, alumni, fans, people in the neighborhood, the milkman, the pool guy, the dude down the street who you never talk to but now he’s making this weird whistling noise every time Local High scores. But even for big baseball games, track meets, etc., there’s almost always someplace to sit, and you’ll be able to watch your favorite team go at it.

7. Track gets you excited about football again

One of the fun things about track is that lots of football players keep in shape during the spring by running track. You’ll see plenty of rising junior and senior stars in the sprints, showing off the speed that’s going to get them in the end zone come September. If you want a sneak peek at some of your next football stars, hit up a track meet or 10.

6. Lacrosse reminds us of basketball and football

OK, so you can’t have football or basketball anymore. Ever watched lacrosse? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Go see some of the best boys teams play, like Lovett, Westminster, Lassiter, Pope, Milton and many others — almost all the best are in the metro area. If you watch closely, you’ll notice how much the offensive and defensive sets can resemble what you see on the basketball court. And if you don’t watch closely, you’ll still see guys get laid out on the field just like in football.

5. Ping of the bat

Some people don’t like it, but we think they’re a little loopy. There’s simply nothing like it in sports – the ping of the aluminum bat you get in baseball below the pro level. Which, of course, includes Georgia high school. It’s this high-pitched, biting noise that you can’t get out of your head, and you need to hear again. Go see some games. See if you don’t start using it as your white noise to put you to sleep at night.

4. Lots of sports

Sure, you don’t have the two biggest ones but, counting the girls and boys sides, spring has more teams playing at each school than the fall and winter combined – five each for fall, winter, and 11 in spring. Except for Sunday, you can find something going on at many schools just about every night of the week, and we suggest you do just that.

3. Georgia dominates baseball

Go ask anybody who follows high school baseball. Go ahead. We’ll wait … You’re back? OK, good. You found out Georgia’s consistently ranked alongside California and Florida as the best states in the country for high school baseball talent? Yeah, that’s what we thought. It’s true. Per capita, we’re a juggernaut. Even just straight up, we’re right there with the best. If you love baseball, you’re in the right place.

2. Great weather

We’re not going to lie. We’re sort of a sucker for spring weather. The cold just makes us angry a lot of the time, though we think we hide it well. So when the trees start budding, and the temperature starts consistently hitting the 70s, we’re a pretty darn happy bunch. Few things are as great as sitting outside on a gorgeous, 72-degree day and watching some high school sports.

1. Spring football practice

Yeah, yeah. OK. Sure. We do still have our eyes on football and basketball, even as awesome as spring can be. And lo and behold, what do we have? Spring football practice, going on right at the same time. So if it’s not enough to catch your favorite football stars on the track, you can maybe go catch a football practice, and then read about how things look with the team in the local paper – we recommend this one, of course. So yes, spring has everything.

Now we want to know what you think. Why do you love the spring? Will you keep paying attention to this page through May? Does the ping of the bat haunt your nightmares? Let us know here in the comments or on Twitter at @ajcprepsports.

3 comments Add your comment

BullDawg Rick

March 13th, 2013
1:13 pm

With the city of metro ATL, ALTA (the largest city tennis organization in the world) & the netters community also sports some great tennis around.. Getting out & getting some great exercise & hitting the ball with your high school kid is great!!

How many of us can share the same sport on the same level (outside of golf) or be even better?
At football – not really, at 54 if I get chopped blocked I’m not getting up
At hoops – Lordy please, 5-6 times up & down the court & many of us are gassed

You get the idea… So YEAH it’s not time to get out, take a long walk, or slow jog & enjoy the great ATL weather… (Lanier is at it’s highest level in 2 years, time to dust off the ski’s)

Nice write Jeff!!!

Desmond E

March 13th, 2013
2:30 pm

You neglected to mention AAU basketball, which is more…..

Rev Al

March 13th, 2013
10:10 pm

AAU basketball? Isn’t that a bunch of young men building their basketball skills to showcase for the……