Columbus Cottonmouths

First Class

     Good morning, Snakes fans. Another dreary day in Columbus, GA...where is the sun??

     What a crazy week it's been for me. Am working on a couple of major stories. Hopefully when you see both of them, you'll forgive me for neglecting my blog. Not enough hours in the day!!

      What a wonderful crowd last night! Just wish they'd had a little more to cheer about. One goal and a shootout loss during the stretch run isn't what you want to entice the fans to come back.

       That said, the shootout is lots of fun for fans, especially new ones!! The exciting one-on-one challenge of the shooter vs the goalie is exciting. Not for me. Not for you die-hard fans who know how important that extra point could be. Not for the guys, who came out on the short end of the shootout.

      Speaking of shootouts, I have to send this question out into the technological universe. Hopefully ya'all have the answer because I sure don't...

      Jerome has told me he goes by his gut when choosing the order of the shooters. He told me the night defenseman Tom Maldonado won the shootout for the home team. OK, I get that...I guess. But last night has me completely baffled. Not about the first 3. Sam Bowles, Matt Gingera and Tom. But then, Marcel Alvarez and Jason Yuel?

     Jerome left Jordan Braid and Mark Thorburn on the bench, not to mention Levi Lind, Derek Pallardy and Brett Hammond, to go with a fill-in d-man and rookie forward? I was stunned. Of course, there are approximately 5 million reasons why I'm not the coach of this or any other team. But those were unusual choices to say the least.

      The offense is reeling...1 goal in 125 minutes, plus 5 shootout attempts is dreadful. Augusta is in last place, for heaven's sake. The RiverHawks underwent one of the toughest weeks imaginable and still came into hostile territory and took home the extra point. Hard to believe and even tougher to take. The Snakes needed 6 points this weekend if their push to the playoffs is going to begin NOW.

      I'm sure most of you have heard of the tragic loss suffered by Augusta captain Matt Auffrey and his wife Whitney. Their 7-week old baby boy, Wyatt, died of SIDS a week ago. In my wildest nightmares, I can't imagine a tougher situation for parents. :( The slight silver lining is the overwhelmingly positive response and support given by the entire SPHL family.

      The Columbus Cottonmouths are a first-class organization. Ask anybody in hockey. Last night's actions reaffirmed that already indisputable fact. The entire proceeds from chuck-a-puck sales went to the Wyatt Auffrey memorial fund. We were running later than usual (don't ask why...UGH) so there were already fans gathered when I purchased Reese's pucks. We normally get 2 or 3, but I bought 5.

      Meanwhile, I did my best to spread the word. Put it on facebook and twitter. (I love technology) and told friends as they arrived. I know many did what the Hendricks family did. Not normally chuck-a-puck participants, Harlan immediately left to purchase some to help this family. Unfortunately, Nathan didn't win a prize...:) But this is typical of the caring, giving nature of the hockey family when one of its members is in need. 

      I know I'm not an official member of the Snakes family, but something like this makes me proud to be associated with an organization like this. Tap of the stick to Wanda Amos, Jerome and all of the Snakes family. The final figures aren't in, but I heard they sold out of pucks, but put out jars for donations and fans kept coming by all throughout the game to fill the jars. Great job, one and all!!

      One last thought before I kick it in gear on this dreary Saturday. The aforementioned wonderful organization is killing me with these extended intermissions. Do we HAVE to feature the dogs and broom ball in the same night??? No time for quotes. No player reaction. Boring story...UUUUGGGGGHHHHH. Rant over.

      Taking a little break now with the guys on the road for a couple of weeks. One of the two big stories is done and the other will be finished in a couple days. Hope ya'all like them.

      Stay tuned.