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Rouch Column

Posted: March 18, 2012 - 12:09am

Youthful indiscretion reared its ugly head once again last weekend when four Lakeside baseball players were found to have been drinking on the bus on the way home from a game with South Effingham. They were promptly booted from the team, which had started the year 7-2.

Before I go too far down the hypocritical trail, I will admit to having been an underage drinker myself.

As a senior in high school in the 1980s, I lived in Germany, and if you were tall enough to belly up to the bar, the Germans were going to serve you. Not to mention that it seemed to be “fest” season year-round, and the Munich Oktoberfest was just a train ride away.

Did I do stupid things with my friends while drinking? Absolutely, and we were lucky that nothing bad happened. That said, it was a different time and definitely a different place.

It would be a bit naive to think that these four are the only high school students who drink or do worse. What they did is against the law, however. And as I’ve said recently, actions have consequences. They were cited Wednesday for possession of alcohol by a minor.

Legally, the four could face up to 60 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, but I would imagine they would just receive probation in addition to the initial school suspension and whatever follow-on punishment is imposed this coming week.

Whatever the case, I’m guessing their spring break won’t be quite as enjoyable this year.

Greenbrier’s baseball team entered Thursday’s makeup game with Lakeside at 6-0 and ranked No. 1 in AAAA. Harlem’s baseball team was 8-0 and sitting at No. 9 in AAA. Likewise, the Greenbrier boys and girls soccer teams came in No. 8 in AAAA.

I’ve covered a few Special Olympics in my time, some bigger, some smaller than Monday’s at Greenbrier, but all have been the best day of my year. It’s a wonderful event where the competitors are happy to be there and the volunteers assisting them seem to have just as good a time.

It’s a winner for all those involved and the Columbia County Special Olympics Board, and those who contributed to the success of the day deserve to be lauded.

Are your brackets busted yet?

I’m writing this before the NCAA Tournament has started. Well, I’m writing this before Thursday’s games have started. I don’t count the “first round” Tuesday and Wednesday as the actual tournament. It’s a polite way of saying “play-in games” following the expansion to 68 teams.

My Terps didn’t make it once again, so now I have no real favorite to cheer. I’m hoping that Ohio State was knocked out in the first round as an old colleague and friend, Luke D’Alessio, is an assistant coach at Loyola (Md.) University. I picked the Greyhounds to upset OSU in one of my 10 brackets, but that was more a ceremonial nod than anything.

So now I’ll cheer for the ACC squads, which I think have a real shot at making some noise this year. Well, I’ll root for everyone but Duke. I just can’t do it.

This was a weird week for me. Since 2004, living overseas where games start at night or very early in the morning, I haven’t missed many of the Thursday or Friday games. I’ll take having a job as a trade-off, though, especially since it’s so easy to keep updated through Web sites, phones, etc.

TEAMS RANKED

SPECIAL OLYMPICS

NC AA TOURNAMENT

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