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I looked at my calendar a couple days ago and suddenly realized that it’s August and that the first fall high school athletic events will be starting as early as Aug. 29.

I scratched my head, asking myself, “Where did the summer go?”

Well, the majority of it was spent at the baseball and softball fields. A quick check of my archives showed more than 70 youth baseball posts on Tioga County Sports Report and Valley Sports Report and 40-plus softball posts on those same sites. I would have had more softball, but one of the local tournaments was scheduled during the weekend preceding the 4th of July and I already had plans.

I haven’t taken more than four consecutive days off of any job since 2009 and I only have myself to blame for that. That’s going to change next summer, one way or another. I love what I do, but I’ve decided I am at a point in my life where I need to make more time for myself. I’ve been a journalist for 36 years, 32 involved with sports, so I think I deserve it.

I have to take a penalty stroke on my coverage scorecard as I missed out on a chance to cover one of our local golfers competing in the TCGA Junior Tour Championship Monday.

I had a previously scheduled appointment which I thought would end in time for me to get to Binghamton to cover Candor’s Jacob Banks and Owego’s Patrick Tammariello.

Unfortunately, when I arrived at the course, the second group was finishing up on No. 18. Tammariello played in the first group and was already adding up his scorecard.

The upside to this little debacle is that Owego opens the high school season at home on Aug. 29 so I will have an opportunity to cover that match.

Beginning with the fall season, I will be giving some recognition to the JV and modified/junior high teams. They won’t receive the coverage the varsity teams do, but I will include event scores and names and stats of a few of the top performers.

For this to happen, the coaches must be cooperative and email or text me results. I do not have time to chase after coaches who don’t submit updates.

I will also be trying to do a better job of updating you about our college athletes. If you have a child competing at the collegiate level, text (570-867-2767) or email ( their name, college attending, high school attended and sport they are participating in.

I recently said goodbye to my best friend, whom I have known for 50 years. David Horton passed away from natural causes at the still youthful age of 61.

Horty, a 1980 Tioga grad, was a standout on the gridiron, wrestling mat and baseball diamond. He went on to play slowpitch and modified softball right after high school (winning a national championship in the latter) and for the past several years was an avid golfer.

It didn’t matter what sport he participated in, he excelled at whatever he competed in.

Bigger than any of his athletic accomplishments was his outlook on life. He was always there with a joke and a smile, and very rarely let anything bring a dark shadow to his life.

In his honor, the 1st Annual Dave (Horty) Horton Chicken BBQ benefit will be held Sunday, Sept. 17, 1-3 p.m. at Moose Lodge 1595, 3 Goodrich Rd., Owego.

Chicken dinners will be $15 per dinner — with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Tioga Central Football program.

The fundraiser will also include a 50-50 raffle.

You can pay using Venmo, making a payment to @Deb-Sherman-1. You may also pay by contacting Deb, or Michael or Andrea Rossi on Facebook.


IN PHOTO 2: The Owego Fire Department was among several local departments to receive a $1,000 check from Tioga Downs during Sunday's races. ... PHOTO BY TIM TAYLOR.

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