Today has been 18 years since the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. Where were you when you found out?
When I was a kid, I remember vividly the date of Nov. 22, 1963. I was in a fourth grade class when the principal came in and whispered something in my teacher's ear, causing her face to turn ashen and after a bit of time composing herself, she announced to us that our president, John F. Kennedy, had been assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
Since that time, whenever the question comes up "Where were you when you heard about the assassination of John Kennedy," I can say I remember that like no other historical event of my childhood.
Fast forward to Sept. 11, 2001. I was down at the old elementary school office when secretary Sheri Trevathan told me there had been an accident in New York City involving a jet liner. We were watching coverage on her TV set when the other jet liner came crashing into the other twin tower, with both of them eventually falling. That memory is as vivid as the one I had in 1963, when I was 11 years old.
I can recall going to a doctor's appointment that afternoon but needing to stop for gas at the four-way stop in town. Cars were backed up everywhere as panicked people were rushing out for supplies. Someone told me that Garfield didn't have any lines yet, so I drove other there to get fuel, then doubled back for my appointment.
All volleyball, cross country, football and golf matches were cancelled that day, and I believe that most, if not all, high school football games on the following day were cancelled as well.
There was quite a bit of hysteria and rumors flying around, but within days our country became united as the perpetrators of the heinous attack on innocent people were identified and efforts were underway to respond to the attack. The United States was about as united then as I had ever seen it, especially in light of the great divide that has split our nation since 2008.
Sports are a reflection of society and our culture, and they are also in the throes of division especially on the professional level.
As per my column of past week, it seems that a significant segment of our population seeks to applaud those who promote strife and division, while also seeking to punish those who wish to honor American traditions and values as we have come to know them since the foundation of our country.
New Orleans Saints' player Drew Brees, a very good human being as well as a top quarterback in the NFL, has been catching flack and all kinds of hate mail from people who were offended that he appeared on Focus on the Family (a Christian broadcast) to promote kids having Bibles. There is an upcoming "Kids Take Your Bible to School Day" event and Brees was all in for the activity.
Whether people believe in the Bible or not is up to them, and no person in these United States should be attacked or persecuted whichever which way they stand on the issue. One of the greatest things about the United States, up until lately, is that people were free to pursue what they think is right religiously even if that meant no religion at all. No one should be abused or badly treated for any personally held belief if that belief does no physical harm to anyone else.
Perhaps it will take another disaster or major upheaval to get Americans to become more united or civil with one another. It shouldn't have to, and I hope it doesn't.
High school cross country
teams take two seconds
The Blackhawk cross country teams finished second in the Elkins Invitational last week in the first big meet of the 2019 season.
The boys (72) finished 48 points behind champion Huntsville (124) and 22 points ahead of third place Gentry (94). Berryville scored 98, Prairie Grove 119, Shiloh 131, and Gravette did not score.
In the girls' division, Harrison won with 117, a near perfect score with the Lady 'Hawks grabbing second with 55. Huntsville was third with 64 with Prairie Grove, Gentry, Gravette and Shiloh failing to score.
Top 10 finishers in the girls event were Harmony Reynolds, who finished fourth in the girls 5,000-meter with a time of 21:44. Rounding out the 'Hawks' top five scoring were Liz Vasquez, 13th (23:57); Allie King, 22nd (24:57); Maddisyn Robinson, 23rd (25:11); and Olivia Scates, 28th (26:24).
The boys had two top finishers in Levi Schultz who was sixth in 19:09, and track All-Stater Josiah Small who was eighth in 19:38. Other scorers for the Hawks were Kevin Vasquez, 17th (20:46); Logan Spears, 19th (21:20); and Layton Powell, 22nd (21:29).
The 'Hawks are scheduled to be in action this coming Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Panther Cross Country Classic in Siloam Springs and then the following Saturday, Sept. 21, in Springdale in the Shiloh Invitational.
4A-1 conference members
win four of six games
It was a pretty good week for the 4A-1 with conference members winning four of six games.
Gentry pounded Huntsville 38-15 in win that game in impressive fashion with Lincoln flailing Westville by a 50-7 count. Green Forest bombed 2A school Yellville Summitt 39-12 with Berryville earning the other "W" with a 41-0 conquest of West Form. The 'Hawks' loss to Maumelle and Prairie Grove's 27-7 beat down by Farmington were the only losses for the week.
Farmington will be visiting Gravette this week with Berryville traveling to Huntsville. Lincoln hosts Keys, Okla. Shiloh is home against Smackover. Prairie Grove invades Dardanelle with Green Forest playing host to Commerce, Okla. The 'Hawks are off this week and will play in their last non-conference game at Farmington Friday, Sept. 20.
Top five finishers are included into the playoffs
2. Pea Ridge^0-2
5. Prairie Grove^0-1
8. Green Forest^1-0
MaxPreps 4A State
*Current statewide MaxPreps rankings
11. Heber Springs^0-1
12. Central Arkansas^1-0
16. West Helena^1-0
22. Star City^1-1
23. Pea Ridge^0-2
28. Harmony Grove^0-1
29. Southside Batesville^1-1
33. Fountain Lake^0-1
36. Prairie Grove^0-1
37. Bald Knob^0-2
43. Cave City^0-2
48. Green Forest^1-0
Editor's note: John McGee, an award-winning columnist, sports writer and art teacher at Pea Ridge elementary schools, writes a regular sports column for The Times. The opinions expressed are those of the writer. He can be contacted through The Times at firstname.lastname@example.org.Sports on 09/11/2019
Print Headline: 18th anniversary of the biggest sports disruption ever