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From the Sports Editor’s Desk… Hampton softball deserved better and I struck out

We have all heard at some point in life that the tongue (and even a keyboard) is like a fire that destroys when words are spoken or written that is not received in the context with which they are presented.

On Monday, I covered the Hampton and Happy Valley softball game and afterward penned out my story for the game. In that story, I referenced a comparison of the movie Groundhog Day and Hampton’s head coach Chelsey Weddle knowing what was going to happen during the game.

In my mind, the reference was solely based on how the Hampton team has competed all season but one bad inning had always haunted them.

Some have reached out and stated that the article came across as Weddle knew her team was going to lose yet again and have voiced their disapproval of the article and felt like an apology was needed.

So, bear with me as I proceed through this as first and foremost as the Elizabethton Star Sports Editor, my desire and the reason that I love the position that I am in is that I love Carter County and especially all the young people from every boundary in the county.

I have always strived to build up the county, the schools, the young people, and each community that we reach as a newspaper.

There has never been any malicious intent on my part to do anything negative toward any child, parent, coach, school, or community as I truly believe that this is one of the best communities in Tennessee to live in.

However, in saying all of this I realize that I am still a human being and make mistakes every day without sometimes realizing that I have done so as many of us have.

Every day, my heart is to live the best life I can to reflect the Christ that I serve and be a voice that builds up and not tear down.

In this situation, I failed without realizing I was doing so.

Coach Weddle has worked extremely hard at bringing the softball program at Hampton to a competitive level with the teams in her conference not only in coaching the young ladies but in the time and effort that she has put into making the Hampton softball field a place for her team and community to be proud of.

There are seniors who have been with the team all four years electing to play and represent their school with pride no matter the outcome. And the community has rallied around the efforts made by everyone in regards to the Hampton softball program.

So today I am doing exactly what I have taught my children and was taught as a child and that is if you find out you have hurt someone by an action – word or deed, you should apologize for doing so.

At this time I would like to apologize to the following publicly: Coach Weddle, Coach Deani Smith, Coach JoAnna Orr, Coach Michael Orr, Abigail Willis, Alley Shore, Isabella Brown, Cheyenne Fair, Hailey Beverly, Hannah Lyons, Hannah Smith, Hazen Brumitt, Lacey Smith, Laci Taylor, Macy Henry, Madison Setlock, Rachel Fair, Ryleigh Nickles, Sara Orr, Makayla Maslin, Shania Pierce, Sophia Cable, and Tia Lyons.

Also to the Hampton parents, administration, and community I wish to apologize.

In life, if one gets to the place that they cannot acknowledge they made a mistake, then that person will live out their lives in misery. I, personally, choose to do the right thing and in this case, I feel this is the right thing.

It has served as a reminder that words need to be carefully chosen whether in regards to a sporting event or in life because once spoken (or printed) they cannot be taken back even if there wasn’t any harm intended.

Coach Weddle and Lady Bulldogs, your sports editor struck out miserably this time but hopefully, I can step back to the plate and make amends for my effort.

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