Sports a source of pride within the community, county [COLUMN]

SpoSometimes, I get so focused on bringing the scores, stars and stats that I fail to remember a very important aspect of sports in our communities: The communities themselves. (FILE)

SpoSometimes, I get so focused on bringing the scores, stars and stats that I fail to remember a very important aspect of sports in our communities: The communities themselves. (FILE)

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor

Sometimes, I get so focused on bringing the scores, stars and stats that I fail to remember a very important aspect of sports in our communities: The communities themselves.

It never became more apparent to me than last week when I went out to snap a picture of some of the improvements at Theron Fisher Stadium in Montevallo.

I pulled up to the empty — or so I thought — stadium, and slipped through an opening in the fence to try and get a shot of the home stands.

Up on the top part of the bleachers, right under the press box was what appeared to be a couple of kids and their grandmother.

At first, I got more focused on how to get the shot without asking them to move than anything else, but I realize it wasn’t possible and explained who I was, and told them what I was doing.

They were very pleasant and agreed to move out of the shot, so I pulled my camera up close and began adjusting the settings when one of the small boys piped up.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

I was a bit taken aback, but answered him.

“I’m Drew.”

He pulled up close to the railing at the very edge of the stadium and verified my name. Then, he said something that shook me.

“This is OUR field,” he said with a mix of assertion and defiance, as if he was letting me know that this wasn’t just some stadium. He told me that his youth team played here, and that he planned to play for the high school one day.

Then he said it again, with the same tone.

“This is OUR field.”

As I walked out of there, I thought about what he said. And he’s spot on. All of these stadiums we go to and places we report from, they’re YOUR fields. They’re YOUR community cornerstones. They’re a piece of you, and your hopes, dreams and futures.

I tend to forget that at times, but thanks to that young man — and I wish I could remember his name — I got a pleasant reminder of the passion of the fans in this county.

Message received, buddy. Thank you.