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Hockey season ends, baseball up to bat

Sports ‘n’ Things with Dave Thompson, Trail Times columnist

Wow.

Last week when this column was issued, the town, the greater area, was alive with buzz about hockey.

The Smokies and Nitehawks got big wins on the weekend, and everybody, at least everybody who had any interest in hockey (which seemed like everybody, period) was excited.

Then, POOF. We are all in next year country.

It seemed like such a good ride, despite some struggles, and it brings sadness that it is over for now.

And the golf course is not open yet.

So now comes a week or two of, “What might have been,” and, “Wait till next year.” And, of course, fans reminiscing about plays and players, and wondering who will be leaving – along with the five 20 year-olds, all of whom put multiple years into Smoke Eater hockey.

Nearly a great season. We will begin to get new answers very soon.

• Meanwhile, of course, there is baseball. The entire Major League Baseball system has started up, earlier than ever before, as if just in case hockey fans need something to pay attention to.

Local baseball at all levels is gearing up and play will begin soon. Early Bird player registration rates end Sunday, so, without hockey to distract you, spend a little time getting that done. Every age group can do that on the Trail Little League site this year.

The umpiring clinic runs Tuesday and Wednesday. It can be worthwhile to take it in even if you might only rarely want to make yourself available to help out on the field. Learning a bit about rules and their on field interpretations will improve your overall understanding of the game. Learning about officiating fundamentals and positioning can give your catcalling a lot more bite, too.

The more you know, the more you know, as the saying goes, and the more you know the more useful you might be able to make yourself as an enabler of baseball in the area.

Tryouts are under way next week. The first Trail Youth Baseball game at Butler is scheduled for a week Monday.

There are calls out for coaches and other volunteers, as well as umpiring candidates, so there is something everybody can do to enable the game. Trail has always been a great baseball area, and you can, if you so wish, help keep that tradition alive.

Gotta do something. Hockey, as an experience and something to think about, is over for a while.

Meanwhile, the new but not necessarily improved Blue Jays have begun their annual stint as a staple of sports television. Come on summer.

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