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From the cheap seats
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Well Covington, it has certainly been a whirlwind trip.

If you missed Wednesday’s paper introducing me, let me offer the opportunity again.

My name is Matt Smith and I’m your new neighborhood sports editor.

The move has been a quick one for me. An interview two Wednesdays ago, a follow-up conversation that Friday, a job offer on Tuesday and a five-hour move just four days later.

It has been exhausting, to say the least.

While I’m trying to catch up on my sleep, I have already been thrust into the sports world of Covington, spending most of this week on the football field before making my first stop on the softball diamond later in the week.

I come to Covington from North Carolina, from the tiny town of Laurinburg. In Laurinburg, we had just one high school, Scotland High, and we just one team, the Fighting Scots. Having just one high school in the county, and with little else to do, cheering on our Fighting Scots became more of a tradition than an activity.

The football stadium's parking lot fills up almost an hour before kickoff.

Volleyball games are packed out. Baseball? Forget baseball. You better get there early so you have a spot along the fence.

While in Laurinburg, I had the opportunity to cover two volleyball conference titles, a softball conference title and, the crowning jewel of Scotland athletics, the 2011 state title.

I met local stars, current college standouts and professional players.

In Laurinburg, sports were infectious. And I feel that I’m catching something here.

Community sports are the lifeblood of a town. It's something that you cannot find anywhere else. Your local sports are unique to you, and I'm thankful I have the opportunity to provide you with the coverage Newton County wants, and more importantly, the coverage it deserves.

I hope I have the same opportunity I did in Laurinburg to cover championship sports here in Newton County, and with the dedication I have already seen from the coaches, players and fans, I think Covington's in good hands.

You meet a ton of people working for a newspaper, and I can certainly use a new set of friends.

I want to hear your sports stories and how Newton County sports impact you. What do you want to read? What do you want covered? What matters to you?

While I may not be new to sports, I am new to Covington, and I have a lot to learn. Good thing I'm not too hard- headed.

So Rams, Tigers and Eagles, thank you for allowing me to cover your menagerie, no matter how wild it gets.