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Plant City Observer Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018 3 months ago

What’s on Kline’s Mind? Can't wait for prep sports' return

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When kids are in school, there's no better time for local sports.
by: Justin Kline Sports/Associate Editor

Not that I haven’t had any fun at work this summer — I’ve found some good stories and had some good interviews — but you can’t beat the atmosphere of high school sports in the fall. Everyone’s got something to be optimistic about with a fresh start, and you can really feel that energy on campus or around town. I need that back in my work life.

This is always my least favorite time of the summer because we’re so close to being back on the ball fields, but things slow down as our kids get ready to head back to school. I miss the hustle and bustle of a busy preps season.

I miss catching heated competitions live. I enjoyed watching the NBA and NHL playoffs, sure, but it takes a lot to beat the energy rush you get from physically being somewhere when teams or athletes are trading leads left and right. Right now, I would pay good money to watch a decent high school sporting event out here if it meant I didn’t have to choose between a St. Louis Cardinals game on ESPN or professional cornhole on ESPN2.

I even miss writing game recaps. It seems kind of stupid that you’d miss something that causes you to work late, sometimes until 11 p.m. or midnight, but covering a game live can be one of the most exciting things in my profession. Fall is the best because, with a football game on the schedule every Friday night, I know my week’s going to end on a high note. I got paid to watch a sport I love and write about it, and tomorrow’s Saturday!

Going into this school year, I just have two pieces of advice for area athletes. First, take your work seriously. That means everything in the classroom and on the playing field. The more effort you put in, the more you get from it. Don’t burn yourself out, but don’t slack off. Second, remember to make everything you do as fun as possible. Try anything you can think of to have fun with the subject matter. If you truly enjoy what you do, it won’t feel much like work at all.

Justin Kline is the Sports/Associate Editor at the Plant City Observer. He has been covering all things sports-related in the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World since 2013.

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