One last column Don Schatzel, chronicler of West Sac youth sports

BY DON SCHATZEL:  Don has been writing a periodic column on youth sports and activities in West Sacramento for the News-Ledger. He hangs up his pen this week.

BY DON SCHATZEL: Don has been writing a periodic column on youth sports and activities in West Sacramento for the News-Ledger. He hangs up his pen this week.


Time flies!

We all know that intellectually. But when your time zips by, and you wake up one day and you are 60 (yes, 60) and the AARP info starts coming and you get a copy of the Senior Resource Services Guide from Assemblyman Roger Dickinson in the mail. . .

Now, Roger is a good guy. But what are you telling me, Roger?

I remember the first Super Bowl, and a time when the United States Men’s Soccer team struggled to make the World Cup Finals. Now they have qualified seven times in a row.

I used to be a member of the noon-meeting Rotary Club and am a proud past president of that chapter. Eighteen years ago, my older daughter Jordan would be asleep and I would put her in a kid carry-all and take her to the Rotary meetings to make sure I would not miss one.

That was 18 years ago, and now she is a college student. My younger daughter, Emily, and her friends  are now  freshmen at River City. Remember when they were 8-year old soccer and softball players?

My family and I  are simply no longer involved in youth sports as we once were. I no longer coach the Hooligans Soccer team.  Dale Calles does his usual great job in coaching them, and my family is just not around youth sports as much as we have been.

I have always thought there were great things happening  in our community and school district and a lot of them were pretty much a secret. There were stories that needed telling and I tried to do that in this periodic column in the News-Ledger.

I now enjoy listening to the folks in surrounding cities and communities who are losing the economic battle to West Sacramento, and they still bring up our gang issues and our schools in a critical way. Nice try, folks. No room to criticize anymore.

Oh, by the way, have you seen our riverfront development lately?  That really isn’t a Delta breeze that’s blowing — it is region’s power and influence shifting to West Sacramento!

But, not being around youth sports as much as before, it is nearly impossible for me to get any information and write about it. So I guess this is the end.

I want to thank Editor Steve Marschke for giving me the opportunity to write about youth sports in town. I am not a “writer” (obviously) but attempting to highlight the great people in  our community and their tremendous accomplishment is worth writing about.

These people can be very proud. I was very proud of them, even though (ironically) we occasionally found ourselves on opposite sides of the field. But no matter who won, I couldn’t lose.  If our youth sports team won, well we won. If our team lost to a West Sac team, and all went well, then, we eventually all became teammates at River City High School as the kids got older. It’s a win either way for my family.

I also very much appreciated those of you who would catch me at the store and tell me you have read the articles and enjoyed them. I found that very gratifying and hope these columns gave some helpful information that made living in West Sacramento a little more fun.

Thanks for everything and a special thanks for reading this last article.

Time for me to go take care of my horse!

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

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