There has been nothing as uplifting and wholesome as the experience I've had following some of our area's best middle school teams from Richmond County and Columbia County. That Langford, Columbia, Spirit Creek, Grovetown Middle, and Hornsby are located in slightly different geographies means essentially nothing to the hordes of parents, family members, classmates and fans who have flooded to their entertaining and very well played games.
The rematch between Columbia and Grovetown Middle was a special evening, as the teams' supporters brought signs and wore special "white out" tee shirts. And the play was every bit as special, as Christian Chambers scored 33 points in 24 minutes to help the Raiders avenge their earlier loss to the Patriots.
Adding cross county games and championship tournaments to their schedules would add to the enjoyment of the players and fans. Doing so would also give the young competitors more opportunities to learn and get even more experience becoming mature and capable young men and women through the wonders of competition. Which players, coaches, or supporters of Columbia County's teams wouldn't want to be part of an atmosphere at Langford like the one shown below in the high profile matchup below between the defending Richmond County champs and visiting Spirit Creek? (And likewise for the Langford and Spirit Creek contingent regarding the Columbia Middle atmosphere above!)
When I exited Lakeside middle school in 1990, there were four schools in Columbia County. Our schedule consisted of games against the other three county schools and Norris Middle, which is now Thomson. And Richmond County had just began letting its schools compete with each other after not even allowing middle school sports competition before the late 80's.
Twenty-five years later, it is past time to do the common sense thing and allow the men and women (middle school coaches, many of whom are volunteers) who help develop our community's boys and girls to freely schedule games and tournaments that area hoops fans like me will flock to see.