MURRELL COLUMN: Local success on big stage matters

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 13, 2017

Somewhere in Washington state, a Nederland-based baseball team made the most of a week-plus stay in a small town unfamiliar to most, if not all, of the players.

Clear across the country, a Groves native had golf fans Googling his name as he momentarily joined another player atop the leaderboard in one of the sport’s biggest tournaments.

Objectivity goes so far — very far in my world — but to ignore the victory is to forfeit the thrill of local achievement. On this day, the thrill was not to be taken for granted.

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Darrell Wallace Jr. had won before in NASCAR’s Truck Series, but this one seemingly meant more. Almost 24 and African American, he won a race at a time when this country was otherwise beset by a deadly act of cowardice that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia.

While America could celebrate such a significant win, Jefferson County had plenty more to celebrate (and does more often than not). That’s what makes this place so cool.

From the most objective of lenses, the thrill of victory on a local level creates a strong effect on our emotions and strengthens our resolve. To miss out on this is to turn a blind eye to pride and progress.

Just about an hour after Mid-County Senior Babe Ruth’s final out, a Port Arthur woman finished in the top 10 of a world high jump championship. The day could only get better.

On Mid-County’s team, players come from different communities across Southeast Texas. A brotherhood is built every summer, and the boys of summer join forces for a great purpose — to play in peace and bring joy to their hometowns.

Charlottesville — home to the Virginia Cavaliers — deserved that peace, but many disturbed it. That’s why Wallace’s win matters.

It defied a disregard for unity and peace. It came right on time.

On a more local scale, Mid-County showed told all of Babe Ruth Baseball what’s in the waters of Southeast Texas — athletic greatness. But just think — Mid-County’s national (or is it world?) championship can be coupled by another proud moment for the area — a hometown guy doing good in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Millions are watching Chris Stroud realize a dream of so many golfers, a longstanding dream of his own, but the majority isn’t as blessed as the small percentage lucky to know him and be represented by him when he attacks Quail Hollow on television.

No matter whether anything shakes us, we as a community like to win or thrive on a grand scale. We celebrate those who share a common goal and unite in the quest for greatness while sharing life with us.

The greater good that blessed us Saturday lift us higher in spirit. Just like Wallace’s victory, they all came right on time.

Because nothing seems to draw us closer and make us stronger than the victories that matter to us.

I.C. Murrell can be reached at 721-2435 or at On Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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