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Work hard, dream big and seize the day.

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 11:10 a.m. CST • Updated: Monday, Aug. 26, 2013 10:08 a.m. CST

Carpe diem.

Seize the day.

Area high school fall sports teams are in their second full week of practices. Everybody is gearing up for next week when all the sports open up the seasons. Athletes and coaches are ready for the first competitions of the 2013 season.

Newton’s golf team got the jump on all the other teams. The Class 4A boys’ golf season got underway Monday. The Cardinals had a strong showing — taking fifth — in their first competition.

I was catching up with a friend of mine from Kansas over the weekend. He asked me which teams here I was excited about covering. I told him, “all of them.” Football, volleyball, cross country, golf and swimming will fill my afternoons and evenings this fall. I have new athletes and coaches to come to know and watch as they progress on the fields of competition.

According to the athletes I’ve spoken to already, they expect to do well. The coaches are enthused as the new season begins with veteran athletes on board along with crops of those who get to “have their time” on the varsity.

With positive attitudes by the athletes, the effort to do the work in practices and games, you can’t count anyone out. That’s why games are played. Nothing is a given.

I love football. So, Friday Night Lights are for me every fall.

I’ve never covered high school swimming so that will be new. I can get into volleyball matches really easy. Also, I admire those who can run the distances in cross country. Then there’s golf — never had much luck following those “great shots” off the tee boxes and I try to stay a safe distance while waiting near a green for the golfers to come up and putt. There’s nothing easy about that sport and those who can strike that little white ball far and true get my attention.

To get a preview of the teams in the area, don’t miss the Daily News’ annual high school Fall Sports Preview section in Wednesday’s newspaper. There are stories on all the areas team — Newton, Colfax-Mingo, Collins-Maxwell/Baxter, Pella Christian, Lynnville- Sully and Prairie City-Monroe.

Also out is the Newton Daily News 2013-2014 Sports Schedule Book, which features high school, college and professional sports schedules. The FREE schedule books are available at many Newton businesses as well as the front office of the Newton Daily News.

KEEPING TABS on all the Kansas high school teams I used to cover will occupy my time also. Can’t give them up since those schools and communities were a big part of my life for quite some time.

Another little insight to who I am: is you will find I will refer to experiences I’ve had or my family. We were, and still are, a big sports family. That brings me to what has been giddy this week — I get to go home for the weekend and watch me youngest nephew play football at Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, Kan.

By no means does this mean, I want to “get out of here.” It means, this will be my first opportunity to see family since arriving in Newton. Plus, I’m very proud of my nephew, Stephen. He works hard at everything from his athletics to his academics. His dream is to play NCAA Division I football. This is his first step as a freshman on the starting offense.

So, here we go gang. Get ready for a great ride this fall with your favorite teams. Go out and support them all, not just the varsities but the freshmen and junior varsity teams also. Be true to your school’s teams as the athletes seize the day.

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