Corey Stolzenbach

Corey Stolzenbach

Has it really been two years that I’ve been the sports editor of the McAlester News-Capital?

The saying that the days are long but the years are short has certainly been applicable in this position. It’s crazy to think that the juniors and seniors this year were freshmen and sophomores when I began.

How fortunate I have been to work with such a great group of kids during the last 24 months from more than 20 high schools, and the support from the coaches who have been grateful and gracious in the coverage answering questions after games that range from blowout losses to state championships.

Speaking of state championships, I cannot believe my luck that seven teams have gone on to win it all since I began in this position, plus there’s Marli Nagel of Clayton, who won the state discus championship in Class A this spring.

I am so looking forward to this upcoming season for football and other sports. I’m delighted to be working with new coaches in different aspects. Wes Jackson is taking over for Canadian football, and he seems very optimistic about what the Cougars can accomplish this season. Taylor Barr at Savanna is back at his alma mater. He gave so much to McAlester, and now is his chance to prove what he can do as a head coach.

Then there’s Forrest Mazey, who has people all excited in this town for what he can do for the Buffaloes. Athletic director John Homer has said there’s excitement any time there is a new coaching change. Mazey is a proven winner and has managed to turn programs around. His intensity, passion and excitement really ring through just by being around him.

This upcoming season and school year should serve as a reminder about how important and special life is, and how every athlete should savor every moment. It’s coming up on 10 years since I graduated from high school, and there are some things that I do miss about those days.

Not everything, but there are things I look back on in fondness. The fact that it’s almost 10 years when my graduation still feels like yesterday and relatively fresh in my mind is utterly surreal.

I was taking photos at a baseball game this past spring, hanging by the dugout and chatting with players. One of them asked me, “Are you ready for basketball season next year, Corey?”

I told him that it was baseball season, and he should enjoy that. Basketball season can be very fun, but time flies so fast it’ll be basketball season before any of us know it. I’ll enjoy it then, but I also want to enjoy now.

Now is football season. It’s fall baseball season. It’s fast-pitch season. It’s cross country season. It’s also volleyball season in McAlester. That is what I’m ready for. That is what I’m looking forward to. This only comes once a year for a couple of months, and the next time it does, we’ll all be a year older, and these kids will have been closer to graduation, if they haven’t already graduated.

Let’s savor these days, these moments. Let’s treasure them, and continue getting involved in these sports and people’s lives.

Contact Corey Stolzenbach at cstolzenbach@mcalesternews.com