The Jefferson Township High School Athletic Department website publishes a very comprehensive schedule of athletic events on a day by day basis. The past few weeks, this schedule has been happily packed with activity in various venues, both locally and away. I say ”happily” because the intense activity level is a reflection on the success of the JTHS sports program as a whole and individually. It was barely a week ago when the boys and girls basketball teams were heart breakingly eliminated in the regional semi-finals of the State Tournament within hours of each other at different venues in the same town. Yet as sad as it was to have the seasons end that way, the fact that they were able to progress as far as they did with squads on which younger players contributed so heavily should not just fill us with pride for the accomplishments of the past seasons but hope and anticipation of the seasons to come.
Beyond basketball, the Falcon winter sports teams enjoyed success that would be the envy of any school on any level. In wrestling, Justin Randzio advanced to the State Tournament in Atlantic City at the 170 lb weight class. The hockey team, known as Sparta-Jefferson United, advanced to State Tournament, upsetting #6 seed Freehold Township in the second round and so it was with other sports as well. The Twitter feed at JTHS ATHLETICS merrily churns out one report after another about Falcons athletes receiving accolades. It is my plan that when all the honors and awards are finally publicized to publish them together as a special article in the Jefferson Chronicle.
However, as far as on the field activities are concerned, the calendar for this week is pretty light. Call it an “off week” if you will. This is not a bad thing, as it gives the athletes a chance to recharge and prepare for their respective campaigns in the coming weeks and months. Soon the sounds of basketballs dribbling on hardwood floors and swishing through nets, blades gliding across rinks and players being checked into dasher boards among other sounds of the winter seasons will be replaced by other no less familiar sounds. The iconic sounds of baseballs crashing off bats, softballs being cradled into gloves, lacrosse balls ripping the backs of nets, volleyballs being spiked into the courts and the feet and implements of track and field athletes will be filling our senses. The cozy confines of courts and rinks will give way to the expansive views of diamonds, fields, and outdoor tracks. It is as much a harbinger of spring as new leaves in the trees and new buds on flowers.
So prepare yourselves for the excitement to come. Get your lawn chairs ready, keep your binoculars handy, break out the sunblock and do whatever you do to prepare your throat for more cheering. It won’t be long before the pages of the Jefferson Chronicle will be reporting on a fresh batch of achievements and victories by JTHS Falcon athletes. I’m ready; how about you?