VAN WADE: Memorial Day weekend delivers reflection & fun

Published 12:22 am Wednesday, June 1, 2022

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Coming off a tremendous three-day weekend, there were so many things to ponder.

Of course, the main item was remembering all of the sacrifices the United States military has given our great country.

It was a great three days to reflect, without thinking about politics and the tough things going on throughout the world, but spending time with our families and winding down a little bit.

On the high school sports scenes, I can’t help but think to what could have been in a couple instances.

The Bridge City Lady Cardinals softball team has to be feeling good about where the season finished and also where they could be right now.

Bridge City took the defending Class 4A state champion Liberty Lady Panthers to the brink in their 4A Region III semifinal battle a little more than a week ago.

The Lady Cardinals were basically just a couple outs away from pulling off a tremendous series win. The Lady Panthers rallied to win Game Three 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh.

So where is Liberty this week? They are in the Class 4A State Tournament looking to repeat as champs. Liberty downed Lake Belton 16-4 in Game Three of the 4A Region III Finals to advance to Austin. Liberty defeated Lake Belton 3-1 in Game One and lost Game Two 7-6 before rolling in the Game Three battle.

Good luck to the Lady Panthers, and I’m sure the Lady Cardinals feel the same way.

On the baseball front, the Orangefield Bobcats fought tooth-and-nail against the China Spring Cougars in the 4A Region III semifinals before bowing out in a tough two-game series 5-4 and 7-3.

The Bobcats, who rolled to a 28-4 overall record this season, had leads against the Cougars in both games before late China Spring rallies.

China Spring has definitely been a thorn in the side for Orange County teams in recent playoff history.

China Spring defeated Bridge City in three games in this same round in 2017. The Cougars football team defeated West Orange-Stark in the 4A Region III Division II Finals the last two seasons and won State last football season.

One day, our “guys” are going to take down those vaunted Cougars. I have a feeling the fifth time is going to be a charm.

I was able to get in a lot of college softball viewing over the weekend, as well.

I enjoyed nothing more than watching the Texas Lady Longhorns take down Arkansas on the campus of the Lady Razorbacks in Game Three to take the Super Regional.

The Arkansas fans were getting a little bit too cocky after rolling to a 7-1 Game One victory. The Lady Longhorns responded with a 3-1 win in Game Two and 3-0 shutout in Game Three.

Not bad for a team that wasn’t seeded in the top 16 entering the tournament. To go on the road into Washington (Regionals) and Arkansas (Super Regionals) and pull out the victories was quite impressive.

Next on Texas’ agenda – a date with UCLA to open the College World Series this week.

And we can’t forget about the NBA. Boston and Miami went to a thrilling Game Seven in the Eastern Finals in what was a crazy good series as the Celtics hung on.

Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors are waiting in the wings for the men in green in the NBA Finals. I really like Boston, but they play like the Dow Jones stock market, way up or way down. That’s why I have the veteran Warriors winning in six games.

And to wrap up a great weekend, my wife and I took in Top Gun: Maverick.

I must admit, I have basically grown up with Tom Cruise movies and have not been disappointed by one yet.

I knew going in that it would be tough for the sequel to hang with the original. But, I have to say, it did and then some.

The cast was top-notch with plenty of flashbacks from the original while having its own great vibe.

Of course, Cruise blew it out of the water by just being his “Maverick” self.

The best thing about it, and in these times we need it, was that the movie was not political. It didn’t push any type of agenda, unless it was just pure awesome patriotism. I believe that is what our country needs more than anything right now and it delivered. The box office receipts show it.

Van Wade is the sports editor for the Orange Leader. He can be reached at