Finishing the long jump (All photos by Doug Thompson)

Season ending soon for Spring sports

Declining health and increasing age may also bring an end for what I have been doing for the past six decades.
A Lady Buffaloes softball player lays down a bunt against Carroll County.

The 2022-23 Floyd County HIgh School year comes to an end this month and, with it, perhaps my role as the photographer who has photographed the school’s sports events for The Floyd Press and this website.

A serious left leg infection that almost amputation below the knee caused me to miss too many games in the Spring season of baseball, softball, track and tennis. This Spring also marked 60 years as photojournalist. Pete Hallman, the editor-owner of the Floyd Press hired me in the Spring of 1963, when I was a sophomore at Floyd County High School as a writer and photographer, the start of six decades of reporting and photographing news and features for daily newspapers in Roanoke and St. Louis area before relocating to Washington, DC, for work on newspapers, magazines and web news organizations that sent me to hotsports around the world for 23 years.

Returniunbg to Floyd County after 39 years in 2004, didn’t end the news reporting as then-editor Wanda Combs put me back to work at the 0a0er where it all started and I have continued providing news stories and photographs for 19 years.

Declining health and increasing age may bring that an end. At age 75, I am facing a orthopedic surgeons recommendation for re placement of my left shoulder and possibly rotator cuff surgery on the right one. The leg ijnfection earlier this year increased the limp I already had from the metal in my right leg from a 2012 motorcycle-cow accident that was supposed to have killed me. :Patient is a walking miracle,” the surgeon who rebuilt my right leg with titanium braces, rods, bolts and pins. He shook my hand as I hobbled into our car on Christmas Eve of 2012 for the trip home after a month and a half in the hospital.

I was returning home after photographing a high school playoff game near ‘Stanton when I laid my motorcycle down on U.s. 221 at Pogue’s Mill Road between Cave Spring and the bottom of Bent Mountain.

Maybe it is time to slow down. I’ve survived a helicopter crash 54 years ago. I have followed my grandfather’s advice that “if you aren’t living on the edge, you’re taking up too much room.” But slow down and do what? I don’t have hobbies. Capturing the world around us in words, photos and video is what I do.

It’s what I am.

Worked on processing photos this morning for possible use in the paper. Here are some of what happened last week.

The season is coming to an end. I just hope I can pick up what I do when football, volleyball and more starts in late August.

A Lady Buffalo returns a serve in a win.
Buffalo second basemen stretches to pick off a runner.

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