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Posts Tagged ‘sabbatical’

That moment when you realize the only sports available to write about this fall will be slug races.

Counting today, there are 130 days left in 2020.

And that’s going to be a long, looooooong time with next to nothing to write about.

Which is why, effective early tomorrow morning (Tuesday, Aug. 25), I’m leaving social media and taking a sabbatical from Coupeville Sports.

I’m not removing the blog – all 7,898 articles I’ve published between Aug. 15, 2012 and now will still be here to read.

I’m just not going to add anything new, at least for awhile.

Mainly because there just isn’t going to be much to talk about.

With the COVID-19 pandemic rollin’ on, one of the few guarantees we have is that there won’t be any prep sports played until Jan., 2021.

And even that comes with a really big caveat.

We know there won’t be a fall sports season.

Though, unlike last spring, there still is a chance those teams will play, just not until sometime in March.

Maybe…

If things go perfectly, high school basketball will lead the return, with the start of practice the final week of Dec., and the opening games of a pared-down season dropping the first week of Jan.

Unless the influenza season gets nasty and combines with COVID to create a less-than-perfect storm, at which point we may be on hold for some time.

Basketball may get shoved back.

The season may get bumped.

Or we may just not see prep sports at all during the entire 2020-2021 school year.

No one knows. And if they tell you they do, they really don’t.

So, for someone who writes a blog focused largely on high school and middle school sports in a small town, the future looks increasingly barren.

Tack on the fact I have always lived by the credo of “Publish Every Day,” having averaged 3+ articles a day for the last eight years, and life will be extremely frustrating for me.

Case in point, this weekend.

I published four articles Thursday — two about sports, one about our ferry system, and one extremely well-read one about murder most foul — then had nothing to write about Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Or today, for that matter.

There is nothing ahead on the schedule. Nothing.

No games. No practices. No new hires. Nothing. Nada. Less than zilch.

I can spend a lot of time being frustrated, and resort to sprinkling in non-sports stories, then spend more time marinating in the soul-sucking hell that is social media, or I can take a break.

I have other writing projects I can go work on, and freed from having to be on Facebook and Twitter, I can get away from the cesspool.

So, I’m out.

Like I said, the blog will still be here, and we’ll see how things play out.

If prep sports return in 2021, I may be back. Or not.

Place your bets accordingly.

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Whidbey News-Times Sports Editor Jim Waller (right) shares a chat with CHS girls basketball coach David King. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The adults are back.

After three months-plus with no sports coverage, the Whidbey News-Times and South Whidbey Record have returned the dean of local sportswriting to his desk.

Longtime Sports Editor Jim Waller was one of several employees who accepted a furlough back in March as the COVID-19 pandemic threw the newspaper industry into turmoil.

His last stories, a profile of Coupeville three-sport star Scout Smith and a piece on South Whidbey soccer announcer Crispin Roberts, posted to the internet March 24.

After that, my former high school journalism teacher lived the home life of “honey to-do lists”, leaving Whidbey sports fans with only my hyperventilating to get by on.

That changed as of Monday.

Waller has been at the core of Whidbey Island sports since his birth, as a player, teacher, coach, and writer.

He was born into the life, one of the sons of revered local coach Mert Waller, who led all four Coupeville High School programs (football, basketball, baseball, and track), before moving into similar positions in Oak Harbor.

Jim Waller was a standout athlete who went on to teach and coach multiple sports at OHHS.

Of the two people writing about sports on Whidbey, he is the only one to be a member of a real Hall of Fame, honored in 2001 by the Washington State Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Waller led the OHHS baseball program for 30 years, taking the Wildcats to the Class 3A state title game.

A graduate of the University of Washington, he is in his second go-round with Whidbey’s newspapers.

Waller first wrote for the News-Times as a youngster, then returned to the post after retiring from the Oak Harbor School District.

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