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Another season in the books

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POSTED May 30, 2010 3:05 a.m.
­ Just like every other athlete in this area that is closing down their season, me and this dude I work for are closing down another campaign.

This weekend will symbolize the close of about seven sports from seven high schools, three levels at most and a couple of monstrous size track and swimming programs. I have met, seen, read names of and shook hands with more people than my mind could possibly remember.

We attacked each day like it really mattered. Every shift, Monday through Friday for him, Tuesday to Saturday for me. Never once heading to work with the intentions of misspelling a kid’s name, or not having the final score for a game that may not make it in the paper.

I returned from covering two newspapers (The Oakdale Leader and the The Riverbank News) on Sept. 29, 2009. I remember it like it was yesterday. As cool as it was for me in Oakdale and Riverbank, the real reason I didn’t want to come back was selfish – I love eating dinner with my wife. It has been a staple in my marriage (hence my waist size) and I was going to miss that.

Driving back to Stockton at 2 a.m., covering enough schools to give ESPN anchors fits, waking my wife up to see her for the first time of the day, I was ready for all that. Plus, I get to work for a couple of editors who care too much. Getting information, about — and to the Manteca public — is very, very important to Jonmar Jacinto and Dennis Wyatt. Me, I just love covering sports!

These guys grind too hard, I mean way too hard to be prosecuted every time there is something that occurs every other time you drive through a drive thru. The next time your sandwich with “no mayo” has mayonnaise, you better write a seething letter to the manager at Jack in the Box. Or at least realize that when you’re reading that paper Friday morning, a man with two kids hasn’t had dinner with them since after church last Sunday.

Memorial Day is serious business for us. My first full-season back at the Manteca Bulletin and its desire to satisfy the adoring, pleasant, peaceful fans of Lathrop, Ripon, Ripon Christian, Weston Ranch, Sierra, East Union and Manteca high school’s baseball, softball, tennis, soccer, track and field, swimming and golf programs has been hectic.

Let’s just say I have finished semesters in college and haven’t needed to party like I will this summer. When you see me at that Little League game and it’s 110-degrees and I am smiling from ear-to-ear, you’ll know why.

We have tried admirably to “do it”. To cover the sports, be fair, spread it around, spell the names correctly, take pictures that aren’t too blurry, just do that 50-hour work-week thing that people who get paid overtime do.

For every one complaint, there are 10 relationships I value, and 20 kids that I hope succeed. But this little scribe is for you Mr. and Mrs. Complainer, we’ve tried to do you justice and I promise we’ll try and do even better when football, volleyball, tennis, soccer, golf and cross-country roll around in 95 days.

Yeah, we’ll be back for another season.
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