From Left Field: The thrill-ride world of high school sports

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By The Staff

The thrill-ride world of high school sports

I'm quickly learning that covering sports is somewhat like visiting an amusement park. Each sport offers it's own thrills. I grew up around a small amusement park in Huntington, W. Va. called Camden Park. I worked there for a few summers in my teens and got to know the place well. So I draw my thrill ride references from my former place of employment. I guess my press ID counts as my daily pass to the thrills that lie ahead.

When I arrived in mid-June, it was baseball season. Baseball is my favorite sport, so I would call baseball the Tip Top, a spinning ride where the occupants can spin the car as the platform spins and elevates. It was the ride I always went back to for a thrill and it never let me down.

The Washington County football season was The Big Dipper, a classic wooden roller coaster, with its hills, dips and hair-pin turns. It wasn't one of the metal contraptions with loops and corkscrews designed to flip your butt over your head, it's a classic coaster. Some enjoyed the ride more than others, some closed their eyes as they went down the drops but after you pull into the station, you breathe a sigh of relief and get in line for another trip.

Volleyball season was like the Tilt-A-Whirl, a spinning, rolling ride that could be calm one second and crazy the next. The pace of volleyball can change in a heartbeat and it's unpredictable. I didn't ride the Tilt-A-Whirl for a long time, but once I tried it I found that I enjoyed it.

I would compare golf to The Skyliner, a ski-lift type ride that is slow-paced, but offers the occasional thrill as the ride stops to let people on and you're left rocking over the ground, wondering if you're going to slip out of the seat.

Softball is The Scrambler, another favorite of mine. It whips you around and can get a little dizzy from time to time. It's one of those rides that you either love or hate, there's no in-between.

Basketball season starts in a couple weeks and I'm looking forward to seeing what ride that will be like. It's a physical game with a lot of contact. My prediction is it will be a lot like the bumper cars.

I think more people in Washington County should experience the thrill of the ride for themselves. Save some money by avoiding Disney World, Kings Island or Six Flags. The real thrills are right here in your back yard.

I only wish I could get an honest-to-goodness Pronto Pup in the middle of November.