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Ok, Tiger sports fans, pull up a seat here in the bleachers, there’s a couple things to talk about.

Seems like just short of forever since we had ANY Tiger sports. Well, this drought is about to end. In two short weeks, Tiger sports will start up. October 10 mark your calendars. That’s the day our Tiger cross-country squads are running at Silver and that Tiger volleyball takes to the court at Mesilla Valley. Unless something changes, and nothing will change because, well… nothing has been changing much these days, right? Yeah. Sure.

So, bar any changes that’s the deal. Home matches for Tiger volleyball on Tuesday, October 13. Tiger cross-country competes on the road, no pun intended, in all their meets this year. 

Still no word about fans in the stands. Frankly, I’m not optimistic. At least not for more than a very limited number, if any, being allowed in. KCHS Radio will be broadcasting and live streaming as many of the varsity volleyball matches as we possibly can. Not the same as being there, but at least we can be your eyes and ears. All that’s missing will be the most important part, the roaring cheers of Tiger fans.

The encouraging thing is that despite all the changes facing us this year, despite all the challenges, despite all the adversity, every sport Tigers compete in WILL take place, at least so far. All of them currently have a calendar of when they compete. Most aren’t when they usually do, and when we would like them to, but all our athletes will be able to compete.

The state has the dates for every sport’s state championship series. Even here, there’s something else we should remember. NMAA executive director Sally Marquez said something that I think bears repeating. In her September 21 question and answer session she said. “We need to remember the emotional well-being of our student athletes. I just touched upon making the playoffs, but this season is not about making the playoffs. It is about getting kids back active, teaching them life-long skills through athletics, getting them back with their coaches, getting them back with their teammates, that is what’s most important. Lastly, we’re still on track, October 5th is still our date and we are going to play again New Mexico.”

Now here’s this thing. Tiger athletes and Tiger coaches all need each other. Every single time we have faced adversity, on the court or off, Tigers are there for each other. This was never so true as it is now. Athletes and coaches, you need each other. Okay, here’s what I want you to do. All you Tiger athletes, yeah YOU. Put down this newspaper. That’s right put it down right now. It’s a newspaper, it won’t go away. It will be waiting for you when you get done. Put down the paper and reach out to your coach. Right now. Most of you can text your coach or reach out in group chat or call your coach or drive over and knock on their door. That’s right reach out, right now and let them know you want to do whatever it takes, whatever it takes to be ready when Tigers hit the court or the field.

Now here’s a couple of things just for you Tiger athletes. Yeah, I’ve said some of this before. Tuff. I’m going to keep on saying some of it, again and again.

So, Tigers, listen up. First off, be the athlete on your team who hits the field or court in the best shape of anyone. All the while you have to be self-motivated in keeping up your academic eligibility, you have to get out there and work hard, work up a sweat and work like you mean it. Find a workout buddy or get out there alone. But, just two words. Do It!

Ok, here’s number two. The second challenge is the most important one. Be the athlete on your team that’s a friend to every single one of your teammates. From one end of the bench to the other. Be the one who leads by example and that every other athlete looks to. Be the one who encourages all the veterans to find a rookie to mentor. What, you’re one of the rookies? Then remember, no matter how good you are, rookie or veteran, you have plenty to learn. Easy stuff? Heck no. A lot of work? You’re darn right it’s a lot of work. But THAT is what real Tigers do.

One more thing to say, then I’ll get out of your face and we can clear out of the Den here and get to work.

Remember this, if nothing else. We are Tigers. We together, will get through this. We together, will forever keep pushing ahead and succeed. We together, can do anything. We Together. ‘Nuff said? Darn straight!

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