The crowd was roaring from behind me as I stood gripping my camera.
I was ready. I was about to snap the photo of my life.
He was ready to take the shot and I was ready to capture it.
So, with sweaty palms I watched as the time on the game clock changed quickly… too quickly.
I kept telling myself we just didn’t have the time. There was no coming back from here. But, for some reason I remained prepared.
With less than two seconds to spare, the ball hit his hands and without thought, he tossed it up.
I stepped up on the bleacher in front of me and silence fell around the gymnasium for just a split second.
It all happened so fast, my mind nor my camera could keep up.
It was all net and the crowd erupted.
They had done it. The boys basketball team had won the district tournament despite a grueling and anxiety-filled match.
I didn’t get to capture the shot I wanted. When I made it back to the office last week, there was no photo of Brandon Morris making the winning shot.
But, that doesn’t mean I left without capturing the shot of my life. It was a little blurry, maybe a little dark for a front-page shot, but the sheer emotion is what makes the photo so special.
In the midst of the celebration I was able to catch Morris and his teammate Colby Baber embracing each other with tears of joy, perhaps even of disbelief, running down their faces.
The community knows better than I the struggles that these athletes have gone through to get to where they are. But, despite any personal struggles, these athletes rallied together for a victory that will not be soon forgotten by their classmates, parents and neighbors.
More than that, this team and this victory finally made me realize why high school sports mean so much to rural communities.
The complete version of this editorial column can be found in the Feb. 28, 2013, issue of the CV&T.