By Doug Gorman

There's something about a game played on a diamond that brings out the best in youngsters from Henry County.

Whether it's a softball or baseball team, somewhere in the area, sports fans can find a championship team.

Just last May, Troy Baker led the Henry County High School baseball team to the Class AAAA state title, and a few weeks later a young team from McDonough captured the Roberto Clemente AABC 7-8-year-old World Series.

Well, young men don't have a monopoly on “diamond talent.” in Henry County, because fastpitch softball is also played at a high level, and in the just completed fastpitch high school season it all started with great pitching.

Luella pitcher Brooke Loudermilk helped her team make history by advancing to the championship round of the Class AAAA tournament. Although Luella lost twice to Ringgold in a pair of 1-0 decisions, Loudermilk struckout 30.

Union Grove pitcher Terese Gober has been just as tough this season. The squad lost before getting to the championship round, but the Lady Wolverines spent most of the season ranked No.1 in the gasports.com coaches' poll.

Gober is expected to sign at Union Grove, and Loudermilk with UT-Chattanooga.

There's plenty of other pitching talent in the area as Eagle's Landing's Terri Mesko and Eagle's Landing Christian freshman Hope Rush led their teams to the state sectionals.

Henry County didn't get out the Region 2-AAAAA tournament, but pitcher Amber Harrell is a Division I prospect.

It's all how you look at it: College football is a great game, but fans of the sport are a different breed. Tennessee supporters are wearing bags over their heads, questioning Phillip Fulmer's ability as head coach and wondering if the glory days are about over.

Georgia fans are starting to say not so nice things about nice guy Mark Richt because Georgia still can't beat Florida, and down at Georgia Tech, the fan base is becoming divided over head coach Chan Gailey even though Tech is one win away from qualifying for its ninth straight bowl.

While fans of the above mentioned programs are stewing over “not so good” seasons,” Rutgers fans are dancing in the streets of New Jersey as the Scarlet Knights have won six games, and become bowl eligible for the first time since 1992, when they also won six games.

Rutgers has won three straight games, and so happy were Rutgers fans after Saturday's win against Navy, students stormed the field and tore down the goal posts.

Putting it all in perspective: The death of Atlanta Hawks' basketball player and former Georgia Tech starter Jason Collier is tragic. Twenty-eight-year-old men aren't supposed to die of heart alignments.

But Collier's death should teach us that when all is said in done, a game is still just a game. Collier apparently lived life to the fullest, but was taken away much too soon.

It would be nice to see parents just be thankful for healthy, happy children, instead of yelling and screaming at umpires or second-guessing coaches, which as a sports writer, I have witnessed way too much in the past few years.

After all, life is precious, and we should enjoy every minute of it, regardless of the outcome of a game.

(Doug Gorman is sports editor of the Daily. His column appears on Thursdays. He can be reached at dgorman@news-daily.com )