"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." — Rogers Hornsby The greatest second baseman of all-time
Where, oh where, did the spring go?
Just as soon as the playoffs began, they ended.
In a season symbolic of hope and that which is beginning, the end came sooner than ever as my mind can recollect.
It is the spring in which the Falcons are usually flying highest and farthest and it is in the spring when the Rebels lasted far and long upon the court and it is the spring in which a trip to Fresno seemed an annual occurrence. Not this spring, however.
No, upon this spring, summer fell quite early in May. The summer, as it relates to high school sports, falls every year at the same time that the last playoff team falls.
This time around, it fell in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division VII baseball playoffs on May 21, as Flintridge Prep finished its year with an 8-3 loss to Capistrano Valley Christian.
It seems like light years ago, now, as the scrambling immediately started after that Friday afternoon, the scrambling to give you something to read with little to no subjects to write about.
Without hesitation, I'll readily admit that the only reason what you're reading has been written is to fill the void left by empty gyms and diamonds.
In seasons of spring past, tales of the Crescenta Valley baseball and softball teams and the Flintridge Prep volleyball squad, along with track standouts such as Claire Collison, Rachel Lange and Zack Torres colored these pages as May slipped into June.
But it became abundantly clear as far back as March that this would be a spring to forget.
As it relates to the News-Press' coverage area, no baseball or softball team made it past the first round of the playoffs. To put that in perspective, Crescenta Valley's softball team hadn't been halted in the opening round since 2001.
Flintridge Prep's volleyball team ventured a into second-round exodus, but Coach Sean Beattie's program has been accustomed to quarterfinal and semifinal runs in recent seasons.
As for track and field, there wasn't a single runner in our coverage area that advanced past the CIF finals.
Three volleyball teams combined to go 1-3 in the playoffs, two baseball teams went 0-2, three softball teams went 0-3 and three boys' tennis teams went 0-3.
One win. That's all we got was one damn win?!? Indeed, and by this time of year nobody's reading now anyway.
One could delve further and conclude that perhaps the dynastic ways of CV softball are coming to a close or that CV baseball is continuing to rebuild a once mighty program or that Prep volleyball did not have the playoff magic that once existed. Perhaps.
Frankly, I believe every case is a bit different. And more than anything, it becomes very clear that, in retrospect, the exploits of Baillie Kirker and Ashleigh Viers-Gordillo and Dustin Emmons and Chad Nacapoy and Dylan Walker and Gavin Thomson and Rachel and Claire and Zack should be celebrated even after they drifted past us.
High school sports are very much about ups and downs and no matter how past years have gone and no matter how long one program has dominated, everything eventually changes.