Evans point guard Troy Belton knew before the basketball season started that he likely would miss the Knights' second meeting against Glenn Hills.
During the Democratic presidential primary, Belton's father told his son they would make the trip to Washington if Barack Obama won in November. Obama was sworn in as president Tuesday, and Belton was there.
Belton found out through text messages from his teammates Tuesday night that the Knights fell to the Spartans for a second time -- their only two losses this year.
"I was pretty disappointed," Belton said. "But I feel like I've played a lot of games in my career. You can only go to this (presidential inauguration) once."
Belton and his father, Troy, drove to Washington on Jan. 18. The younger Belton said he told his father he would help drive the 10 hours, but he slept the entire way.
Belton said the group he was with, which included family members from the Washington area, woke at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday to wait near the Lincoln Memorial.
Temperatures were below freezing, and Belton was decked out from head to toe in gear to stay warm. That didn't stop him from seeking the warmth of the Memorial's museum.
Belton, whose style on the basketball court is to push the tempo, wasn't thrilled with the pace of the inauguration ceremony.
"It was a lot of ritual things going on," Belton said. "Not my speed. Maybe when I get old."
Belton said he often reminded Evans coach Kevin Kenny that he would not be in town Tuesday. The Spartans' win dropped the Knights from first to third in Region 3-AAAA.
Kenny blamed the loss in part on an uncharacteristic lack of rebounding. But he couldn't deny the speedy Belton would have helped.
"Would we have won if he had been there? I can't say that," Kenny said. "But any time you're missing you're starting point guard, there's a hole there."
Lakeside's Young running his own show with 5K run
Lakeside's Atom Young might get fidgety when he holds a 5K run Saturday.
Young, a standout cross-country runner and track athlete, is accustomed to participating in distance runs. Now he's organizing one as part of his senior project.
Young wants to raise money to replace the school's dilapidated hurdles and to help purchase pole vault equipment.
Young said the pole vault equipment was probably too expensive to fund solely from the money he helps raise, but it will be a start.
"We've never really had a (pole vault) program," Young said. "Right now, we're giving them three spots and are at an automatic disadvantage. I'm hoping there will be enough to kick-start it."
The race will be split into eight age groups. Children ages 5-14 can participate in a half-mile run. The 5k age groups will be 14 and younger, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and 60 and older.
The top three runners from each age group will earn medals, and plaques will be awarded to the winners.
The cost to pre-register for the half-mile will be $10. The 5K will cost $15 for high school students and $17 for every one else.
Young said he has rounded up sponsors to pay for the prizes. Pre-registered participants, who can sign up until the day before, are guaranteed a T-shirt. Extras will be available for $10. Participants also are encouraged to bring canned goods to donate to Golden Harvest Food Bank.
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