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Hope springs eternal

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By Larry Rowell

I recently spent an evening in Miller Park covering the Campbellsville 11- year-old Little League All Star baseball team in a matchup against Adair County. Becky Cassell, the News-Journal editor, wants me to have a well-rounded internship covering many different events, so I drew this assignment since the sports editor, Bobby Brockman, was on vacation.

It was a hot, muggy evening and I watched as parents, family members and friends of the ball players sat around the outside fence of the ballpark in their lawn chairs visiting and waiting for the game to start. The players, out on the field in their clean uniforms, were laughing and encouraging one another as they went through their pre-game warm-up.

The concession stand operator was grilling hamburgers and hotdogs and this delicious aroma wafted around the ballpark.

Just before the first pitch was thrown, everyone stood and faced the American flag while Billy Gregory sang the National Anthem.

This same scenario, played out in ballparks in small towns and big cities all over America, gave me pause to think about certain current conditions in our country. The problems we face are legion.

Gas is $4 a gallon, there are higher prices on just about everything, wages are stagnant, we're experiencing 5.5 percent unemployment and home foreclosures have doubled, just to name a few of America's ills.

As Americans, however, we are not defined by the depth nor number of challenges we face. We are a hale and hearty bunch, possessed of an indomitable spirit that allows us to keep hope that better days are just around the corner. We may be down, but don't count us out. We will come back.

Will it really matter if the president's name is John or Barak? We have bounced back after some not- so-stellar presidential administrations with names like Herbert, Jimmy and George.

And until we do rebound, at least for a couple of hours the other night, our attention was centered, not on our problems, but on a group of 11-year-olds playing their hearts out for the love of the game and for the pride of their hometowns.

I wish I could tell you Campbellsville won. They lost 2 to 1 in a game that went two extra innings.

But, even in defeat, they exemplified the spirit of sportsmanship by lining up on the field and congratulating the Adair County players.