Editorial: Getting a lift from Legion
The Rowan County American Legion team is our Seabiscuit story for the summer of 2009.
Seabiscuit was the champion thoroughbred racehorse who rose to fame by winning when the odds were against him. His tenacity and heart gave hope to people when the Depression seemed to have taken all hope away.
The 2009 Rowan Legion team is a lot like that. This team has thrilled local crowds by rising further than many expected at the outset of the season ó winning its way to the state championship and then the Southeast Regional championship. As the team begins playing in the American Legion World Series on Friday in Fargo, N.D., all of Rowan is watching and hoping.
This team is lifting local spirits in a big way. We’ve had our share of bad news, what with home foreclosures, job losses and the rest. But Rowan County has a winner to pull for, and the good news the Legion team has generated is like rain during a drought ó much needed and appreciated.
They say luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, and in that case this is one lucky team. Rowan’s players prepared for the World Series by honing skills over the summer and toughing out two tournaments. Now comes the next opportunity.
The Post is sending its own team to Fargo to cover the series. Sportswriter Bret Strelow, photographer Jon Lakey and reporter Mark Wineka ó now a columnist ó will be there with the team. Wineka’s new position as columnist was going to start at the end of this month, but the Legion team’s success forced the issue. As Sports Editor Ronnie Gallagher said in an e-mail to the Post’s editor after Monday night’s victory, “WE’VE GOT TO GO.” This is important.
Mark, Bret and Jon will be sending updates throughout the games to SalisburyPost.com, and they’ll provide thorough coverage for the newspaper.
Rowan has a strong fan base following it out to Fargo, and that’s an important part of the team’s story. So is the huge fan base here at home. Some have passed along good wishes through the Post’s Web site. “Go get that Little World Series Trophy,” one person wrote. “Bring it back to Rowan County. You deserve it.”
Harold Holmes also posted a message after the Sumter victory: “Great effort by a great team, supported by the best fans imaginable! It is amazing to see so many Rowan fans to travel that distance to support these young men ó many for the entire tournament. Thanks from a happy and proud PaPaw!”
This person might sum it up for everyone ó in true Internet style: “That’s my BOYs!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lets Get there and take home that Championship TOO!! God bless you guys.”
Rowan is with you all the way.