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MCMURRY: Looking on the bright side

I am encouraged. I am especially encouraged by some of the responses I received from local athletes and coaches. Southmont senior Bailey Thompson said that she is grateful for this time of rest. And in a world where we run nonstop and have been wearing us out little by little, it seems that spending more time at home isn’t such a bad thing. I often wonder how generations ahead of me were so successful, and I believe it’s because they spent more quality time at home. With their families — reading their Bibles or other books, completing chores, and most of all taking time to rest and refresh. Mountie Reese Long told me that he thinks this will be a great story to tell his grandkids someday. And he’s right, the thought of what I will tell people about this time period and what I remember about it crosses my mind every day. There is no reason to dwell on what we can’t control, but focus on what we can, and that’s where Crawfordsville baseball coach John Froedge comes in. Announcing his retirement last fall, Froedge may have coached his last game if the state of Indiana doesn’t return to school in early May. I can’t imagine what I would be thinking if I was a two-time state champion and hall of fame coach and my final season was up in the air. But Froedge hasn’t flinched, and instead has looked at all the good that can come from the current COVID-19 pandemic. “Even with all the drastic changes to life we are enduring, positives can come out of this time as well,” he told me a couple of weeks ago. “This should force all of us to slow down a little. More activities is not always better. Families will be able to spend quality time together and maybe even more frequently sit down at the dinner time.” I’ve been encouraged by the tweets and Facebook posts seeing families having game nights, exercising together, and just sitting down together to enjoy a meal or a movie. Relax, breath, and make sure you’re not taking life for granted. I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of support being given to our local restaurants and businesses, and in return the support local businesses have spread throughout our community during this time of need for many many people. And while I’ve said this before, and will continue to say this throughout the next few weeks, months, or however long this lasts, we will use sports to come back from this. And North Montgomery girls’ soccer coach Julie Hodges left me with the best response I’ve gotten from anybody these last few weeks. I’ll share it again. “We are trying to encourage them (Charger athletes) to control what they can,” she said. “That is why sports are so good in teaching us. We have faced defeat and disappointment before. We have also triumphed and overcome in sports. That’s why sports are so important in teach these life lessons that we are using in our reality today.” My goal during this unprecedented time is to figure out what sports mean to us as a community, and what happens when they’re suddenly taken away. I hope you’ll let me tell your story. Email me at, follow me on Twitter @jaredmac26 and @JR_Sports and never hesitate to reach out by phone at 765-918-8656.

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