Clinton, South Carolina, Friday, February 26, 2016, 11:41 a.m.
Thursday took me to Laurens District High School — by way of Aldi, two dozen eggs, some bratwurst, coffee and other items — to write about the Raiders’ softball team and how it’s going to finagle a fourth Region I-4A championship in six years.
When I got there, head coach Butch Clark was getting ready to drag the field and making it clear that someone had better fix that dadgone thing, and weld a piece on it, because, as of that moment, he was wrinkling more than he was smoothing.
Despite the feeling that his equipment — a golf cart dragging a flat, weighed-down, square of crisscrossing metal — left a little to be desired, not much bothers Coach Clark. He has put in most of his time in the teaching and coaching wars. In as much as veterans grizzle, Clark is grizzled. I reckon that makes him a likable bear.
When I asked him how the Raiders’ preseason scrimmages had gone, he said, “Not too good,” leaned his head back and started laughing.
He has a way with sentences that wind up undermining the way they started.
“If the pitching settles down, we can be pretty competitive with anybody most of the time.”
“We’ve got a good handful of decent players, I think. We feel like we’re going to hit the ball pretty good.”
He’s the kind of fellow one talks to and comes away thinking, Wow, this is really good stuff, and then one transcribes the interview and wonders, What did this man just say?
Clark leaves a good bit between the lines. That’s what’s going to make it fun to watch his team play.
This is a man who will work with what he’s got, but even when it’s fixed, it likely won’t be to suit him.
What better definition of a coach is there?
Here’s my team preview at GoLaurens.com: http://www.golaurens.com/sports/item/23027-clark-expects-raider-softball-team-to-fulfill-expectations
As you may have noticed, I use these blogs as a promotional tool for my novels. One, Crazy of Natural Causes, has been out since late July of 2015. In the interest of peace, love, and understanding, I’d love for you to give one or two or (soon) four of them a read.
Another, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, will be out soon. It’s a crime novel about corruption and patronage in a small town. The tale unfolds across two generations at the same time. It’s got sex, drugs, corruption, murder, and frank language. Very little, if any, rock and roll, though.
The Intangibles (2013) is based on boyhood memories and is set in a small Southern town amid the tumult of the 1960s. The Audacity of Dope (2011) is a freewheeling yarn about a pot-smoking songwriter who somehow becomes a national hero, and that comes with complications.
Crazy and Trespasses are my third and fourth novels. I’m working on a fifth, Cowboys Come Home. Most of my books can be examined and purchased here: http://www.amazon.com/Monte-Dutton/e/B005H3B144/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416767492&sr=8-1
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