Simply put, I don’t care who you voted for or if you even voted. That is your business, and the less we all fret and fume over the outcome of the election, a better frame of mind we can enjoy can be realized.
But there is one thing I hope you will take some time to reflect upon on this November 11 — Veterans Day. Those brave men and women of every political party, race, and social background who have given of themselves to ensure that each and every one of us can partake of the freedoms we enjoy need to be remembered and thanked. That should happen every day, BUT especially today. Most of you have never worn the country’s uniform or endured the hardships they traversed to ensure freedom is indeed free. So, take a private moment, or personally thank a veteran you may know for standing up for this country during times when it was most needed.
The Lowery family has a three-generation military background and Veterans Day holds special importance. But one of my long-remembered observances of the day stems from a single moment in an eleventh-grade Civics class taught by George “Mac” Hoffangle at South Williamsport High School.
On Veterans Day of that year, at preciously 11 minutes after 11:00 a.m. on November 11, Mr. Hoffnagle had the class observe a one-minute moment of silence to stress the meaning of the day. I can still recall the eerie moments of that silence filling the classroom. It taught us all a lesson I have never forgotten.
During the past nine months, we have collectively been told to adjust to the “new normal” as we go about our daily lives. That “new normal” isn’t fun, and we all long for a future time when our lives can return to the “normal” we all enjoyed before 2020 wreaked its havoc.
In case you haven’t noticed, one of those normalcies has already returned. Now that the election is in our rearview mirror, the unsolicited political bombardments of our mailboxes, televisions, radios, and newspapers have subsided, and things have returned to normal for those most frequented communication outlets into our lives.
The COVID crisis set our sports world into an abnormality that we had not seen before. But as bits and pieces of the sports we enjoy were reassembled into a somewhat ragged puzzle, in several cases, the results achieved have adhered to a normal we have seen before.
The Muncy Indians have done their best to convince their fans that “Groundhog Day” is the real deal. On Halloween afternoon, the gridiron Indian tribe visited the upstream reservation of the Canton Warriors and did what they always do — capture yet another District Four Class A football championship — winning 21-16. This year’s triumph marked the third time in as many years that Muncy has beaten Canton on its home field. It also was the third time that Muncy had lost to Canton during the regular season before inflicting its revenge with the championship on the line.
For these “normal-seeking” Indians it was the fourth time in the last five years they have gone on the road to defeat a higher-seeded opponent for the championship and exacted revenge for a regular-season loss. That occasion came in another tribal tussle over the Sayre Redskins.
Another COVID scare shook the teepees of the undefeated Montoursville Warriors just days before the District Four Class AAA semi-final showdown against rival Loyalsock. A positive COVID test on the Montoursville campus caused an announced shutdown of school and related activities, meaning Montoursville would have had to forfeit the game to the Lancers. Following a marathon school board meeting, the team was permitted to play and handily defeated their cross-bridge rivals 57-28.
The result maintained the outcome normalcy in the recent meetings between the two schools and catapulted Montoursville into another district title game against Danville last Saturday.
Up river, Tom Gravish’s Jersey Shore Bulldogs earned their seventh spot in the past eight years in District Four’s AAAA bracket with a mercy-ruling 48-7 biting of Mifflinburg. The victory gave the Dawgs the shot at their third consecutive district crown when they hosted Shamokin last Friday.
South Williamsport continued its string of nine consecutive playoff appearances and made the best of the opportunity defeating second-seeded Troy 35-18 in the Class AA semi-final. The victory gave the Mountaineers a season record of 5-1 in a year when their only pre-season scrimmage and their first two regular-season games were canceled due to COVID concerns. Their reward for an uphill season of success? Why it was a trip to Southern Columbia for last Friday’s district title game where the three-time defending state champion Tigers have won 28 of the past 30 titles. That is about as normal as you can get.
Oh yes, in the NBA, the team with the best regular-season record, the Los Angeles Lakers, won the championship. The two teams with the best records in MLB played in the World Series, with the Dodgers besting Tampa Bay. The team with the most money, the New York Yankees, wowed em’ during the regular season, then lost again in the playoffs, and in case you haven’t heard, the Nittany Lions were once again gobbled up by those Buckeyes from across the state line.
Yep, a lot of “normal” sports stuff in this most abnormal year.