Saying Goodbye To Athens Drive Sports

Daulton Bahm, Former Sports Editor

After having some sort of connection to Athens Drive High School sports for the last 15 years, it is almost time for me to say goodbye. While I am not athletic enough to actually play sports, I have attended numerous athletic events for this school throughout my life, and it goes back a very long time – long before I even attended Athens.

My first memory of attending an athletic event at Athens was back in 2003, when I attended a JV baseball game when my Dad was coaching. I do not remember the results of the game, but it gave me a head start on being a Jaguar. I remember attending an Athens football game or two when I was in elementary school as well, but I was too young to really follow the team and get into the game.

I finally came to Athens for the first time in Aug. 2013 as a freshman. I never really followed Athens sports much at the time, mainly because I was new to the school and had not fully adjusted to it. I attended one football game as a freshman, which I did not really get excited about. However, I attended the “Strike Out” ALS baseball game on April 11, 2014, and watched the Jaguars make a huge comeback and defeat the Cary Imps 15-6. This win boosted my school spirit, and I immediately became attached to Athens Drive baseball. I attended nearly every game for the rest of the season, and while most games did not have the same result as the win against Cary, my attachment towards Athens Drive sports continued to grow.

During my sophomore year, I began to attend football games as well. I attended most home football games and watched the team make a run for the playoffs, sadly falling just short. I attended my first Homecoming game on Oct. 10, 2014, when the Jaguars defeated the Apex Cougars. In the spring, I once again followed Athens Drive baseball when my Dad coached the JV team, keeping score and going to every game. By this point, my attachment to Athens Drive sports was strong, and I was truly a Jaguar in all aspects.

My attachment to Athens Drive sports continued into my junior year. I attended every home football game in the fall of 2015, but sadly that season turned out winless. Perhaps my highlight of my time following Athens Drive sports was the 2016 varsity baseball team. I chose to become an announcer for Athens Drive baseball before that season, and I eventually came to greatly enjoy it. Despite the 2016 Athens Drive baseball team starting the season 1-7, they made a major run and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2011. I was able to witness the Jaguars baseball team win 3-2 at Cape Fear on May 10, 2016 in the first round of the playoffs, and it was probably my favorite moment of all of high school. Although the team lost a few days later to Pine Forest, I got the remarkable experience of watching a playoff run, and this was quite exciting for me as an Athens Drive student.

Although I am now a graduating senior, my attachment to Athens Drive sports has remained. I continued to attend home football games this past fall at the new Jaguar Stadium. The 2016 Athens football season was far better than the previous year, with the team nearly making the playoffs. The 82-34 Homecoming win against Cary in Oct. 2016 was very exciting, as the Athens school record for points was broken just one year after a winless season. It was cool when the student section was able to rush the field after the game, and I was a part of it. In the spring, I announced Athens varsity baseball games for the second year.

Come June 10, I will no longer officially be a Jaguar, but I will never forget the many exciting experiences I had watching Athens sports. This school has become a part of me after attending athletic events here for so long, and I expect it to remain that way for the rest of my life.