It is that time of year – time for the Sports Journal team to take a short sabbatical and recharge our batteries. We are an extremely small group, so we typically value the down time between seasons. And now is that time as the fall sports are now done and the winter sports are just beginning with girls basketball games.

Last year, that was not the case. After three weeks of the football postseason, the Kokomo Wildkats were still alive. And then they were alive after four weeks … and five … and yes, the Kats played into the sixth and final week of the state football tournament before falling in the state championship game.

Now don’t get me wrong, I want to be covering a local team in the Elite Eight, Final Four and onto Lucas Oil Stadium. I want the season to interrupt my Thanksgiving plans. I want the start of a local boys basketball squad to be delayed while football is still ongoing. I can’t speak for all journalists, but I am a fan – when a Howard County squad finds success, I am thrilled. I love watching student-athletes I have covered hoist championship trophies – whether it is in the conference, sectional or state.

And don’t forget, when a local team heads to the state finals – much like football did one year ago – the Sports Journal and other publications up their games as well. It is kind of like our state finals, too. We head to state finals press conferences, write feature stories, talk about the opponent, prepare and publish special state finals editions and saturate social media.

As we swing into the winter sports season, we are also gearing up for at least one run for a state championship; of course, I am talking about the Northwestern Lady Tigers. And that should be a fun run, especially with the beefed-up schedule the team is playing this season, which includes several teams ranked in the all-class preseason Top 20 poll.

But that doesn’t mean we will be ignoring other sports, such as swimming, gymnastics, boys basketball and wrestling. Our cameras will be out and about this winter, dodging the ice patches and frigid temperatures to get inside where it is warm and sporty, with the smell of popcorn filling the air and thrilling action on the playing surface.

But until then, we will be on a short break from publishing the Sports Journal. I will still be out watching games with my cell phone in hand to bring you the latest via social media. Greg Rakestraw and the ISC Sports Network crew will be in Kokomo next week to film another edition of the Video Sports Journal, so make sure to catch that at The regular weekly edition of the Sports Journal will return on December 4. While we are gone, please salute a veteran on Veterans Day, enjoy family and friends on Thanksgiving … and VOTE TODAY!

Until next time, remember to keep the man and ship in sports – and I’ll see you at the game.

Dean Hockney is the publisher of the award-winning Sports Journal of Central Indiana and the public address voice of Kokomo Municipal Stadium for the Wildkats and Jackrabbits. You can follow him on Twitter (@Sports_Journal) for the latest in local sports news and in-game reports.

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