COLUMN: Plenty of sports memories in 2013

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By John Herndon

I can't really tell you the best Christmas present I ever got.

That electric football game – Packers vs. Colts – I got when I was nine years old has to rank near the top.

Over the years, I have gotten my share of gifts that would mean little to most people but are etched in my mind because of the circumstances surrounding them. There have been a few books on that list. It is a list that includes some photos and even a pair of socks that I knew meant more to the person who gave them than they did to me.

Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Dec. 25, although the exact date of his birth cannot be known. But the time between mid-December to January 1 is a time of celebration for people of many faiths. Even those who profess no religious faith often get caught up in the season.

Frankly, they can't miss it.

And there are memories. They might be gifts. They might be family gatherings. They might be something insignificant to most, but special to a few. And, really, isn't that all that matters?

There were several of those wonderful moments in Anderson County sports in 2013. In the grand scheme of sports, few noticed. To those affected, they were big deals.

In some ways, those moments are what make sports special. Here's my list, in no particular order.

Libby Pike's basket at the Sweet 16.

Pike was a senior on the Anderson County girls' basketball team that eventually made the state semi-finals. Pike was always one of those you knew would always give everything she could to help her team win, then try to do some more. But rarely did she score.

With 1:53 to go before halftime of the Lady Bearcats' quarterfinal game against Shelby Valley, Pike scored on a layup and the large Anderson contingent erupted with a roar. It was a roar of joy for a young lady most liked and admired being rewarded.

Pike went on to score four more points against Marion County in the semis, but her contribution to Anderson's success last year could not be measured in the box score.

Darius Harvey's interception.

Actually, we are talking about his first one. Harvey swiped a pass that sealed Anderson County's football win over South Oldham in September. Harvey returned it 48 yards for six points. He later sealed a state playoff win over Franklin County with another.

On the surface, that is not that big of a deal. Unless, of course, you remember that Darius Harvey was a defensive end and offensive lineman. Those guys get a chance to score about as often as Santa makes commercials for Weight Watchers.

It just doesn't happen.

Most people read the linescore and said, “Ho, hum.”

But to those who know Harvey as a great young man, it was time to be happy.

(A side note: Late in the season Harvey's running mate, Landon Searcy picked off a pass at East Jessamine but could not take it all the way for six. To that, Harvey quipped, “I was happy for Searce, but he didn't score like I did.”)

The e-mail I got from a former Anderson County golfer.

The Anderson boys had just made it to the state tournament for the first time in a while. I was told it had been over 20 years, so I used that information, as I had no reason to doubt the source.

But a day or two after the story ran, I got an e-mail letting me know the info wasn't correct. The person was not mad, but noted that his team had made it after that date.

What he was saying was, “It might not be important to everyone, but it is to me.”

He was right.

After all, those memories are what make sports special.


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