Labor Day is more the national New Year's than January 1. Vacations end and we prepare to get back into the swing of the work world after a summer of sun bathing. The major political party's conventions are over, but let the games begin - or, for some, end.

Local sports team's and students are preparing for another season and school year, while many seniors prepare for their last. In-house competition has players eying up their teammates to see who has prepared most in the offseason and who will measure up to game time decisions on and off the field. How much ground have you gained on your cohorts?

Unfortunately, this time of year also has the Phillies hyping next year, and for those of us who prefer the heat over the snow, many start hibernating while waiting for the first crack of the bat in Clearwater.

This could be the season for the Eagles to help us get to that point. Forget the lack of depth at linebacker - the position where the Eagles need to be deepest is in the medical staff. Let's hope that physical injuries don't hurt the team's moral or block the view of its goal.

It's the last hurrah for golfers, especially those who haven't yet planned an escape to Florida or any other tropical climate for sometime over the holiday season. I don't have any plans, but am fortunate to have local talent on the links for Phoenixville and surrounding schools that will ease my transition into the approaching tundra.

But let's be fair. Some things are just inevitable.

This being my first year as sports editor at The Phoenix should provide fair coverage of all local sporting events. Any opinions will be based on fact and in good faith.

I hope this fall's campaign symbolizes fair play and intelligent analysis and thought that places our local heroes head and shoulders above our national leaders, who do not always act as their title says they should.

Let's keep the politics out of our the Phoenixville games of 2004-2005. Student athletes should represent their school's reputation and perform as best as they can. High school athletics are real and without retakes.

So let the games begin.

I hope each team and each player has an excellent year. Teams and players will have more successes and disappointments than others, but all will take memories and lessons in life to the next level, whatever that may be for each of us.

Matt Houpt is the Sports Editor of The Phoenix. He can be reached at sports@phoenixvillenews.com.

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