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Why I still do this

State finals remind writer of joys inherent in covering sports

So you want to know - after all these years spent jotting illegible things down in notebooks, doing hundreds of interviews, writing thousands of stories, covering untold numbers of contests both mundane and meaningful, and then hammering it out in front of an inanimate computer screen, why keep doing it?

Mainly because things like what took place in a span of less than seven hours Saturday afternoon and evening, in two separate arenas – one in Troy, the other in Glens Falls – bring me back. No matter what I’ve seen before, something amazing, or a few amazing things, could take place and remind me why I fell in love with sports in the first place.

Sticking to it is not the way to wealth or fortune. Maybe it grants some attention, but that can work both ways, as people know your name, but then can go attack you for any sin, real or imagined, small or large.

And as the sports landscape grows ever more negative, personal and invasive, it’s so easy to turn completely cynical, bitter and angry, turning the smallest controversy into a raging wildfire where all within its path are consumed and destroyed, and for what purpose?

Some of that has trickled into high school sports, but not all. There still remains the wonder of accomplishment, the sense of possibility and potential, and a chance, every so often, to transfix us, even though we feel like that can’t happen anymore.

Each of the five Section III basketball teams that played for state championships on Saturday had a wonderful story to tell, no matter the result.

It began with Utica-Notre Dame’s girls, rising to the top of the state Class B ranks with a 71-36 romp over Bishop Kearney, but the real story was Emily Durr, the Iowa State-bound senior who has led the Jugglers since eighth grade.

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