2001-12-29 / Sports

Ode To The A: As I Remember 2001

By Elio Velez

Ode To The A:
As I Remember 2001
By Elio Velez

I want to say Happy New Year to all sports readers old and new and thanks for reading.

Another year gone by and another new picture added. I’m thinking of having a new picture every week with a new and exciting photo just for you readers. Ok, I won’t do that since this isn’t G.Q. Magazine.

A lot of things have happened since I arrived at the Wave in August. There was not a week or a month that passed without some event being implanted in my brain. Many good things and bad, so I’ll just give my 5 cents on some notable and not so notable events.

A touching story was one I reported in August about the story of Coach Michael Moore and his eleven and under AAU team which captured the AAU National Tournament. As Moore told me of their story of trying to raise money for uniforms, transportation, and other things for the team, I was saddened and proud for all of his hard work. I was saddened when he told me that he was spending every waking hour trying to get funds. I sensed the tiredness but then he became alive. He was so energized when he discussed his players and their hard work of beating teams from throughout the country. I would love to report in August 2002 of Coach Moore leading another team of hard working kids to a championship.

In September, well nothing can go by without mentioning September 11th. It’s an event in that in my lifetime is the first to hurt me in so many ways. I worked at World Trade Center 2 on the 93rd Floor for a few years. It only seems like yesterday I was working there and I can’t ever go to Borders bookstore at WTC 5 for lunch ever again.

In the Sports world, I know that for weeks I couldn’t fathom putting out a sports section. I felt it was so unneeded but I then looked at the hard work of the firefighters, police, ironworkers and others trying to find the survivors and putting their lives on the lines for others. If they are fighting for what they believe in and never giving up, then I can do the same. I can go on living and fighting for what I believe in.

In October, the football season began and I anticipated the Broad Channel and Far Rockaway high school games. I loved reading the reports of the BC Shamrocks football team and the Far Rockaway Panthers. I loved reading and watching games filled with kids and teenagers playing a game they truly love. It’s not about money and fame. It’s about respect, hardwork and fun. And having fun is what it’s all about, isn’t it?

In November, The Yankees lost the World Series and most people was in shock. I was shocked that they got to Game 7 and Mariano Rivera pitching in the 9th. All their heroics in the postseason lifted the spirits of Yankee fans and New Yorkers and I sure do give respect to that.

Another tragedy hit the Rockaway community hard with the plane crash in Belle Harbor. With a community hit hard by the events of September 11th, this was not needed. It was tragic but it was something that once again brought together the community.

As I write this on December 26, I remember the stories that were printed in the newspaper. Now I want to give thanks to all the writers that submitted stories for this paper. There are so many to mention that I wouldn’t do the correct justice. I give thanks to the continuing stories of the beach volleyball season. I loved receiving the football stories, baseball and softball articles, basketball, hockey, soccer and so many others. I say keep it coming because this is a community newspaper. I think its great that people write stories about what’s happening in the community because it means they are involved and kids are involved.

Now it’s time to get all weepy and teary eyed and start giving personal thanks. I thank Howard Schwach and Gary Toms, the great editors of this newspaper for their guidance and patience in my getting accustomed here. I also thank all the people here in the Wave for their hardwork and respect that they have given me. And my last thanks goes out to Emmanuel Jalonschi. He kept telling me that I was a good writer and I would be good when I worked here. I have always valued his friendship and whenever I go, I will always take that to heart. Thanks my friend.

Whoa, it’s almost the New Year. Time to party and wait for 2002 to take over. I am out of here. Until next year, Peace!


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