After The Tornado At JSU, Our Softball Team Has More Hope And Strength Than Ever

After The Tornado At JSU, Our Softball Team Has More Hope And Strength Than Ever

White is the symbol of a fresh start and hope and that is what we have.

Throughout the past month, softball has been hot and heavy. Especially the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. We have traveled five consecutive weekends with hardly any sleep. Some might say how do you have time for classes, friends, or family? Our answer is these are our friends and family and we work harder on our classes. As a supporting staff for the Jacksonville State Softball team, I see the hours of work these girls put in to perform their best during a seven-inning game.

Monday, March 19, 2018, is a night that will be burned in many peoples memories. On this night an EF-3 tornado ripped through the city of Jacksonville and most importantly across our beloved campus. Leaving many homeless.

The morning after we all looked over the damage and went to our beloved field where many hours of practice have been spent as well as many memorable wins for the Gamecocks. Once on the field, the girls see that the field they love is now in shambles. It is all but destroyed. Light poles look like branches snapped off trees and the bleachers that once sat behind the fence are now crumpled on the infield. I myself only saw only saw pictures Tuesday morning.

Later that day I would stand alone on a field that I love and cry because it is unlike any scene I've ever witnessed before. The as I stand there I remember the girls are alive, I am alive, the coaches are alive, and my fellow managers are alive. Everything on this field can be replaced.

While material things are sentimental and the field is sentimental we all share the love of the game. For our four seniors, three of them now have little to nothing. With their houses being whipped out all they have is the uniform for the game they love. Three of our juniors are in the same boat. While the girls realize they are lucky, they also realize they are lucky to be alive and healthy enough to play the game they love.

Noon on Wednesday we loaded a bus to come to Kentucky. That night in the hotel that other managers along with myself put together 17 brand-new white helmets. Thursday afternoon at 2:15 the girls opened up their helmet bags revealing the white helmets. As tears came to their eyes a glimmer of hope could be seen.

In the words of Coach Jana McGinnis, "This is a symbol of the fresh start we have been given, forget the past games whether they be wins or loss and start fresh." Along with those words Coach Julie Boland says, "Girls, white is the color of hope."

With a fresh start and hope in our back pocket, we know we are ready to conquer the conference. While we are still in an uphill battle we realize that we can be the Gamecocks that everyone knows us as. We can dominate the field and our opponents.

Not only does the Gamecock Softball team have hope, but so does the Jacksonville State University community. We all have the hope that we will build back and be stronger than ever. We will conquer this storm. With hope and a fresh start, we will be the Jacksonville State that everyone has grown to love.

Cover Image Credit: Personal Photo

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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Tiger Is Back And 2019 Is Starting To Look Up

Tiger Woods might now have the greatest comeback story in sports history.


It's no secret that Tiger Woods means a lot to the game of golf. I wrote about his influence back in September when he achieved his one and only tournament win in 2018, first since 2013. I did, however, celebrate his win with a caveat of sorts: I wouldn't say he was back.

In golf, no one cares about how big your prize purse is, how many endorsements you've got or even how many tournaments you win. A golfer's career is measured by how many Majors they win. So for me, I couldn't claim Tiger was back until he secured at least one more Major victory before he decided to hang up the clubs for good.

But now, with a Masters championship under his belt and another green jacket to hang in the closet, I can safely say without a doubt in my mind that Tiger is back.

The biggest question with Tiger was whether or not he could carry the momentum from his Tour Championship into the Masters. Tiger has gotten our hopes up before, but things felt different the moment Tiger claimed that first tournament win in what felt like forever.

And honestly, there's no better way for the world's biggest golfer than in the world's biggest tournament. The "Tiger Effect" is very real, and the numbers are there to prove it. Despite having to tee off early for the final round with threesomes instead of duos to avoid storms, the Masters still delivered incredibly high TV ratings as Tiger played his way into contention the past few days. According to CBS, the final round of the Masters delivered a 7.7 rating which is the highest it's been in 34 years. I'll never forget where I was when Tiger won his fifth green jacket, and I'm certainly not alone in saying that.

So what does this mean for Tiger's legacy? For one, the argument of "can Tiger win another major before he retires" can finally be put to rest. I'm not a huge fan of the talking heads in the sports industry, but watching this video of the slue of bad Tiger takes just brings a smile to my face. It also resurfaces the Jack Nicklaus debate as the greatest golfer of all time. Having now secured his 15th Major win, breaking Nicklaus' record at 18 Major wins seems entirely possible. Statistically, Tiger winning another Major is not outside of the realm of possibility. Julius Boros was the oldest player to win a Major at 48, so Tiger at 43 theoretically gives him another five years. One thing's for sure, the entire sports world will be watching.

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