It was a breath of fresh air to finally get the chance to attend a sporting event, even if it was an hour and some change away, it felt like coming home after a long vacation that didn’t go as planned and the relief of being in familiar territory.

When I got to the softball field in Jersey Shore, the first thing I noticed was the energy at the field. Players, coaches and fans look relieved and happy to get the chance for a normal Wednesday night (well if you’re from a sports family I guess it’s normal) watching a high school softball game with family and friends.

I took a seat near the batter’s box, and took in the sights, sounds and conversations happening around me with a new found sense of appreciation that I may have taken for granted at other points in my job.

The DING of a softball getting cranked to left-center field, the settling of dust after a slide into third, the dads next to me joking about the size of the current umpires strike zone and the look of smiles from the players who didn’t care if they won or lost, just that they got the chance to be there.

These are just a few take-aways that I had at my first live sporting event in almost 100 days. It was something myself and many others have missed.

Some things in life just can’t be replaced, and for me the atmosphere of any game brings a smile to my face most days, and the fact that there hasn’t been any sports in so long, I think the reminder of how great those feelings are was something I desperately needed.

Though we don’t actually know what things are going to look like in the upcoming season of sports, it’s always nice to get back to those sights and sounds that have brought me joy from the time I was a kid playing farm league baseball, all the way until now as an adult.

Nick Coyle is a sports reporter/enthusiast for the Wellsboro/Mansfield Gazette and Free Press-Courier. Email him at ncoyle@tiogapublishing.com.