Gil Pound: Pound for Musing

May 7—Counting myself as fortunate as we approach the end of another school year.

I started at the newspaper in spring 2016 (with a break in spring 2022 we won't discuss) and have been lucky enough to have covered at least one state championship game every calendar year since.

Sports matter in Milledgeville.

Student-athletes and coaches are so dedicated. Crowds are often strong. The payoff is we seldom see our local high school teams miss out on the state playoffs, and many go on to make noise by advancing further than just that opening round.

Having a team still competing as the bracket gets smaller is the best as a sports reporter. You spend more time around the players, getting to know their tendencies like who's going to react after getting that big strikeout from the mound and whose face is going to stay stone-cold. Benches erupt and fans' hands go into the air. Capturing good photos adds another layer to the storytelling, and familiarity helps one know where to point the camera.

There's another part of my job I take very seriously beyond being a teller of the news. It's as a chronicler of local history.

About 6 feet from my desk inside the newsroom sits a door to a small space affectionately known as the morgue. Behind the door are dozens of very large books that are actually bound copies of newspapers from days gone by. I find myself spending a decent amount of time in there searching for documented history since our website only goes back so far.

I can't flip through many old editions without running across a familiar name — parents of athletes I'm covering now, current coaches in their playing heyday, and, yes, even myself as a high school basketball try-hard.

Someday, some young sports reporter is going to be flipping through our old newspapers looking for confirmation on a piece of info passed along by a coach or parent. I hope he or she finds what they are looking for and also notices that this 10-year stretch we're in now was a remarkable time to be a fan of local high school sports. All three schools have pitched in with major newsworthy accomplishments. John Milledge football was for a few weeks owner of the nation's longest active winning streak and won it all five times. Trojan boys basketball came out on top in '21, and the baseball team was crowned three times (going for a fourth since 2017). Baldwin won 4A girls and boys basketball championships within just a few years of one another. GMC Prep went back-to-back in softball, back-to-back-to-back in boys cross country, and will play for a third state championship trophy in boys soccer tonight.

While the stories of all those teams will someday wind up in the morgue, it doesn't mean this period of prosperity has to end. Let's keep winning 'em, boys and girls.