This summer has been a difficult one for Newton County. Crime has increased, temperatures have been high and taxes were raised.
School has now started, new friendships are being formed and new goals are being reached for.
That is no more symbolized than the summer Olympics, which is in the middle of competition over in Brazil. Not only are countries from around the world putting their best foot forward in the athletic competition, but also, for the first time this year, there is a team made up entirely of refugees.
These people are putting their struggles aside — struggles of leaving their homes, or being forced to leave — and still competing at the highest level, doing something they love.
Surely, that can translate here. Our struggles mount every day, whether it is paying taxes, teaching our children to stay out of trouble, finding a job or caring for a loved one. But when we have something to take pride in, we can compete at the highest level.
We don’t even have to look as far as Brazil to see, and learn, from the achievements of Olympians.
As summer turns to fall and the calendar gets further into August and on to September, which means one thing in the South, and Georgia, in particular: football season.
You can find all the predicted highlights of the upcoming season, who is on each team and when to watch the Tigers, Eagles and Rams in the B section of this edition of The Covington News.
But football season, and our prep and youth sports in general, gives us the opportunity to do more than revel at how many touchdowns are scored, home runs are hit and wins are tallied. We can watch our young people come together to achieve their goals.
There are no contracts on the line, no one is looking to win the Heisman or earn an endorsement deal.
But the young athletes in Newton County are looking to have fun. Everyone who takes the field and court are eager to do one thing — play. Just play.
The struggles of life are pushed aside for four quarters or nine innings or 18 holes in order to just play. To win or to help their teammates excel.
The programs we have available in our high schools and recreation leagues help our kids know right from wrong and focus. Football, volleyball, soccer and all the other opportunities available in Newton County also give our youth opportunities after school on the weekend.
Not only should we support our children, grandchildren and friends in these leagues, but the leagues themselves.
As the games begin let’s look to our local teams and athletes and learn from the teamwork, hard work and comradery that happens on the field and court as an example.