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Simmons Says - Sorting through sports

When the calendar flips to July, the TSSAA usually has a phrase which perfectly sums up this time of the year. It’s the dead period.
All school sports are in a holding pattern, with spring over and fall yet to begin. Golf will be the first to break the cycle, but it’s still a couple weeks away.

Games at McMinnville Civic Center ceased at the end of June, while Midway, Morrison and Centertown have continued to go forward. Even professional sports slowed, with the NBA, NHL and NFL all in their offseason while the MLB grinds through the dog days of summer.
So as the summer slows, let’s hit a few bullet points of things going on.

• No summer should pass without sports fans making the trip to Midway. Even if you aren’t a softball fan, the cheeseburgers are more than worth the drive. It’s like the fair every week when they crank up the grill and the lines alone tell you the food is the main attraction.

• Kawhi Leonard was traded last week. Readers of this column are used to seeing his name and are probably surprised it’s not already been covered in detail by now. Honestly, it’s over and like Gregg Popovich said, it’s time to move on. Hopefully Kawhi comes back healthy and the Spurs continue to stay relevant despite people writing them off.

• The firing of Scott Smith, and subsequent hiring of Tracy Hayworth (more on 2B), in Grundy County was huge news over the weekend. Sunday’s story laid out the hard feelings between Smith and the Grundy County administration.

Smith only coached one year in Warren County, but he left a big impression. I remember Smith more as the coach who was two plays away from the program’s first winning season in three decades, but most remember him for the text he sent to his team telling him he was leaving after just 10 months on the job.

When Smith said to me last week, “I’ve made some bad decisions,” in regards to his choices of employment, I have to think that text was on his mind. Too bad we didn’t have emojis then.

• I’ve been doing this off and on for eight years. I can say without question, the Sports Spotlight about the city league participation received the most comments of anything I’ve written. I still have people asking about it.

I want to say thanks to everybody who I interviewed and those who reached out to say something – positive or negative – about the stories. The opinions were mixed and emotional, and the ideas shared were informative. I think better times are on the horizon.