As we look forward to another year of athletic accomplishments by our El Dorado County athletes, it’s also a time to look back with pride on what 2012 gave us.
Through hard work, effort, resilience and determination, our athletes and athletic teams didn’t disappoint and offered an array of highlights from the alpine racers that open the year; football that kicked off the school year; and winter teams that took us up to and into the new year.
Our area sports is individual, team-oriented, travels on two and four wheels and is both in and outdoors. It’s mainly local but can also be regional, statewide, national and at times even over seas. It doesn’t discriminate with respect to age, race, religion, gender or socio-economic status.
It happens on a track, field, court, diamond, pitch, mat, pit, in a pool and in the air.
It’s almost 24/7.
Even on Father’s Day when it centers around a wheelbarrow.
Each year the Mountain Democrat Sports Department scours through 12 months of hard copies seeking stories for consideration for our annual Top 10 and Honorable Mention lists.
After much debate, the nominees get pared down and published.
That’s the old way.
This time the stories will fit under the category ’2012 Year in Review’ with six sub categories: Team Performances, Individual Performances, Victories, Best Game, Milestones, and Feel-good Moments.
Three run today and three in our next issue on Friday.
No ranking, just a list.
While these obvious standout events illustrate the thrill of victory, championships and personal/team glory, one story from the past year didn’t fit a category but nevertheless was big in the way it touched our community.
That story impacted the county in a very big way. When Ponderosa senior Zachary Pickett was injured days before the school year started, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hadn’t heard the devastating news. The incident brought the community together as numerous charities were organized for a family in need whose life changed instantly in a split second.
If the Pickett’s heart-wrenching ordeal wasn’t enough, we suddenly lose Speedway sprint car racer Stephen Allard last week — a reminder how precious life really is.
But sports, like life, marches on and as we head into the new year there’s another story to be told, game to play and goal to be met.
Hopefully these next 12 months are safer, happier and as prosperous and successful as the last — not just for our athletes but everyone else as well.
Have a Happy New Year.