Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Month of May Is A Sports Bonanza

March brings the “Madness” of the NCAA basketball tournament, but that’s just one sport. May, on the other hand, is jammed packed with a host of sporting events. The first two legs of horse racing’s Triple Crown, The Kentucky Derby and The Preakness, are run the first Saturday and the third Saturday of May, respectively.

In the National Hockey League (NHL) the Stanley Cup playoffs are down to four teams: the Los Angeles Kings, the Phoenix Coyotes, the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers. In the National Basketball Association (NBA) six teams remain vying for a spot in the NBA finals. In the Western Conference it’s the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the Eastern Conference it’s the Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat.

For golf fans, earlier in the month there was the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, N.C., and The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. This week it’s the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores, Benton Harbor, Mich. And those are just some of the big ones.

This weekend, Pentecost Sunday, the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 takes place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

For baseball enthusiasts there’s a plethora of Major League Baseball games in May, because the league still has a long way to go in its 162-game regular season.

But what I enjoy most about May is covering and watching the state high school playoffs. Unfortunately, I was only able to make one playoff game this year - the May 16 girls semifinal soccer match between Atlanta’s Marist School and Peachtree City’s McIntosh High School. McIntosh defeated Marist 3-1, and McIntosh would go on to defeat Whitewater High School, Fayetteville, to win the Class AAAA championship.

Marist School's Stephanie Krouskos (#9) tries to gain possession of the ball over McIntosh High School's Hannah Hartman. McIntosh scored one goal in the first half and two in the second to defeat Marist in the state soccer semifinals 3-1, May 16.

A number of our Catholic schools made it to the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 in sports like baseball, lacrosse, soccer and tennis. The boys soccer team at Our Lady of Mercy High School, Fayetteville, had never advanced past the first round, but this year they reached the Elite 8 for the first time in the school’s history. Mercy, too, would go on to lose to the eventual state champion in Class A, Aquinas High School of Augusta.

In the June 7 issue of The Georgia Bulletin we will provide our readers with a recap of the Catholic school teams that were either state champions or state runner up.

Congratulations to all the teams, athletic directors, coaches, managers and players who competed during the 2011-2012 school year.

In closing I’ll leave you with a quote from former professional tennis player Boris Becker:

“I love winning, I can take the losing, but most of all I love to play.”

Michael Alexander, Staff Photographer

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