This February is a month of emotions.
From excitement to anxiousness and from fears to tears, it is all happening during the second month of the year.
For most high school students and teachers, February is just another month, but for coaches and athletes, the month’s 28 days can hardly contain everything, especially this year.
Thanks to the University Interscholastic League’s realignment process, which happens every other year, Texas high school sports gets rearranged. Districts get flipped on their heads, schools change regions, new foes are formed and longtime rivalries get torn apart.
The days leading up to the big unveiling can be some of the most anticipation-filled hours for coaches as they await their fates. Even the slightest of changes can have monumental affects.
Needless to say, regardless of how things end up, once the word is finally released, an almost palatable sense of relief can wash over the state for both coaches and players.
Sure, things might not work out in everybody’s best interests, but their futures are secure and the planning and preparations for the upcoming seasons can finally begin in full.
Just a few days later, National Signing Day sent everyone’s emotions in a totally different direction.
For players, it is the culmination of all their hard work. Years of hard work and gallons of sweat finally pay off as they officially commit to the colleges of their choice.
In addition to having the overflowing joy of knowing their athletic careers are secure and will be extended, there is the sudden finality that high school is basically over.
The realization sets in that only a few months remain with their friends and teammates before embarking on an entirely new journey in life. The joy and sadness all becomes one conglomeration.
For most, they will soon be moving away from home for the first time and be forced to learn how to balance school, work and practice all on their own. It can be intimidating, overwhelming, nerve-wracking and exhilarating all at once.
But one way or another, putting pen to paper will always be memorable.
If that is not enough, basketball players begin their playoff treks.
Seniors must cope with this being their final run with the teammates they have bonded with both on and off the court, while underclassmen experience the jitters of having to play for their lives.
Other sports, such as baseball and softball, are in the infancy of their seasons. Hope and promise fills the locker room and visions of district and possibly state championships fill players’ heads.
February offers many different things to lots of different people, and the best part is everyone handles things in their own way. What some consider exciting, others dread, and what some fear, others accept with open arms.
But for better or worse, everybody experiences some type of emotion in February.
Contact Clay Whittington at firstname.lastname@example.org