EDITORIAL: Thumbs up

Jun. 15, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

THUMBS UP: Sanford’s Mellette

You’ll remember that former Southern Lee High School football star Aaron Mellette, who set all sorts of records during his collegiate career at Elon University, made the roster of pro football’s Baltimore Ravens last year. But an injury during preseason — during which he caught nine passes, two for touchdowns — cut his rookie campaign short. He was put in injury reserve and eventually had surgery and didn’t appear in a regular season game.

It was painful for Mellette and his legions of fans to see him on the sidelines and not playing. After all, the first two balls he caught in preseason games were for touchdowns, and experts following the team were predicting good things for him for 2014.

Injuries occur in pro football, but Mellette has been working hard to regain his conditioning and coming into this season he’s trying again to make the squad. The competition will be tight: a recent story on the team’s website says he’s one of eight wideouts on the team’s current roster battling for two positions.

“I think in any situation you always have to prove yourself,” Mellette said. “They’re always going to bring in someone to replace you. I feel good. My competitive nature, I don’t think it comes second to anybody. That’s going to drive me to be the best.”

We’re hoping the team’s officials won’t forget what Mellette is capable of, and that the injured knee allows him to demonstrate once again his skills.

“I’m just going to go out there and have fun and just show everybody what I can do, just in case they forgot,” he said. “It’s been a long time from training camp throughout the whole season, so that’s what I’m waiting for. I’m just ready to get that chance again.”

We look forward to that.

THUMBS UP: DESTINATION SANFORD

All eyes are on Pinehurst this weekend, and next week as well, as the national championships for men’s and women’s golf play out on PInehurst #2. In the run-up to the men’s and women’s U.S. Opens there, we’ve been hearing (for months now) about Pinehurst being the cradle of American golf and an endless series of venerations for the Donald Ross masterpiece (famously renovated by the tandem of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw for these tournaments) that is #2.

No question about it — Pinehurst is special.

But home is home, and when the women’s Open wraps up a week from now, the tens and tens of thousands of spectators and thousands of workers and volunteers who made the U.S. Opens possible (as well as the players themselves) will leave, going back to their homes. Many will go through Sanford and Lee County as they leave Pinehurst for destinations across the state, the country and nations abroad.

The Herald’s series “Destination: Sanford” spotlighted what’s good about where we live. We’ve been in the shadow of Pinehurst, but as our stories pointed out this week, our home is special, too. Whether you were born here, left and came back, or ended up here by choice or chance, or whether you’ve never lived anywhere else, our home is a great destination as well.