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The Circle of Life through HS Sports

Updated: Dec 22, 2022

As soon as I walked into the noisy Cedar Shoals gymnasium, at the ticket desk sat a Jaguar alumnus, Jeffrey Burton, a face the east side of Athens, GA could never forget. Just like when he walked the halls as a student, he wore the cleanest pair of Jordan 11 retro concords and was having his usual critical conversation about another sports team.

I sat down on the lower bleachers

to arm my camera for action shots and saw another familiar face, but this time a fellow Clarke Central alumna, Charnetta Croffie, who is now the head coach of Cedar’s varsity volleyball team. Shortly after Croffie and I greeted each other, I saw another classmate with little ones in tow. She told me that her baby was #5 on the junior varsity team and that I should look out for her. At this moment, The Lion King’s “Circle of Life” rang through my body in surround sound. ‘Wow, I’m officially getting older’, I thought.

Cedar faced a tough to beat North Oconee and Johnson high school. I was thoroughly impressed by the athleticism shown from all the teams, both junior varsity and varsity divisions. In high school volleyball the teams have to play two different schools in 3 different rounds to 25. Since these rounds are not timed, they could potentially run long. With so much hustle and intensity from these young ladies, they deserved to have a bigger crowd.

“A student asked, why don’t ya’ll care about girls sports like ya’ll do basketball and football?” said Croffie, recounting a conversation she had recently with a Cedar student. Our conversation brought about a problem I don’t know if many realize. Why isn’t the community supporting our youth more in their endeavors that are outside of the collective norm? Although it was Senior night for Cedar, the North Oconee and Johnson fans lined the Cedar bleachers in support of their girls. Not discounting the Cedar fans in attendance, but there was a difference in the number of supporters.

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