Saturday Jun 23 2012
Now I can root for the home team
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
Over the past eight years various readers have called me a Placer homer, a Bear River booster, a Colfax supporter and a Del Oro sellout ? sometimes all within a few weeks. It?s true. I am a fan. And after this column is printed I?ll be able to root for our local athletes and openly voice my support for the Hillmen, the Falcons, the Bruins and the Golden Eagles. There is a longstanding rule in journalism that states, ?No cheering in the press box.? It?s a sentiment that is sometimes ignored these days, but it is critical for anyone purporting to practice fair and unbiased reporting. The one time I was incredulous with an inquiry during my tenure at the Journal involved a coach?s accusations that I was cheering for another local team while on the sidelines at a football game. Of course, I was at a different game on the night of the alleged cheerleading. The irony is, there were hundreds of times over the past eight years that I was compelled to clap, cheer, and even join in on the fight song. Now I can, and probably will. I resigned from my post at the Journal to pursue another opportunity in the writing field. I?ll remain in Auburn as a fan and ardent supporter of our local athletes, coaches and schools. I moved to Auburn in 2000, just three weeks out of college. I was eager to explore the vast canyon trails as well as the vibrant prep sports scene and I was fortunate to do a lot of both over the years. If you?ve not experienced high school sports in the foothills, do yourself a favor. Go check out a game at Le Febvre Stadium this fall. Read up on the phenomenal football athletes being groomed at Placer and cheer them on like they?re your own sons. Walk into Earl Crabbe Gym and soak in the history of that classic place. Experience the Kendall Arnett Tournament ? the oldest prep basketball tournament in the state. If you are at all outdoors-inclined, take a morning hike or bike on the Connector Trail just off of Foresthill Road. Between the thrilling single track and the breathtaking views of the American River Canyon, you won?t believe that you?re a few minutes outside of Auburn. Hurry; if you head out right now you might be able to catch some runners finishing the Western States Endurance Run. As you watch complete strangers finish an epic 100-mile journey that includes two sunrises, it?s tough not to well up. It?s a sight that makes you want to be better ? at running, at playing and at living life. Appreciate the coaches that essentially volunteer their time to shape our youth in the foothills. After interacting with coaches at all levels from around the region for a decade, I can say with confidence that our local schools are blessed with some special coaches. And finally, support your local paper. Since long before I arrived, the Journal has covered local sports with a passion and intimacy that few small town papers can match. Certainly we?ve had missteps and make mistakes. But great local coverage is hard to find, and should be treasured. Thank you to all who have read this column through the years, and those who make living here so special.