Sports Columns

December 31, 2013

Chris Whitfield: A new year with lots of new stories

“Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Knowing what goes on today shapes tomorrow. Welcome to a land which is never quite what you think it is, and will never stay that way for long. There are a million stories on the streets that we never finish building. We intend to tell them all.”

— Public Broadcasting ad

The above quote is one of my favorite sayings and one of the biggest draws to journalism for me. When I was going to college at then Middle Georgia College in the early 1990s, I didn’t have cable and could only pull two stations on my television — WMAZ, the Macon CBS affiliate, and WDCO, the middle Georgia public television station.

During the day I watched “The Young and the Restless” and “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” On Sunday nights, I was introduced to British comedy and am still a big P.G. Wodehouse fan.

But the above quote struck a nerve with me because I enjoy being a storyteller. I always have. And that is what I do for a living — tell a story. Whether it is a feature story on one of the best high school football players I have ever seen or a light-hearted column picking your team to lose on Friday night, I still enjoy telling the stories

So, welcome to a new year with new hopes, new dreams, new goals, new coaches, new local stars and new stories for you to follow in these pages each and every day.

This past year featured some great stories of “ordinary people doing extraordinary things.” Someone you live next to may have made the game-saving tackle. Or the girl you see working at the supermarket may have delivered the game-winning hit to put her team in the state playoffs.

Much of our storytelling involves the youth of this community, and that is a good thing. We hear all of these stories about wayward youth, and there are plenty out there. But in my line of work, I usually end up dealing with the best and the brightest a community has to offer. They aren’t all saints by any means, but a teenager who will work as hard as today’s coaches demand them to work and who dedicates themselves to the good of the team rather than worrying about individual accomplishments is pretty darn good in my book.

You have to give respect to kids who will get up at 5 a.m. to work out before school and stay well past dark to practice their craft and hone their skills. There is hope for the youth of America, and their stories can be told on the athletic field and in the classroom and in their quest to better themselves.

Looking back on 2013, there were great stories of success and heart-wrenching stories of putting up the good fight but falling short of the goal. Looking forward to 2014, there will be even more of those stories. There will be successes that we celebrate as well as stories of failure, but always there will be support in the drive to reach goals and go beyond the limits the individuals thought were possible. There are plenty of stories out there.

We intend to tell them all.

Chris Whitfield is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen. If you have a story you want him to tell, contact him at chriswhitfield@daltoncitizen.com.

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