Every two weeks, Mike Mandell gives his thoughts on the sports scene in Ellsworth, Hancock County and beyond.Depending on whether you’re reading this online or in the newspaper, it’s either the very end of May or the first day of June. Either way, the end of the high school sports season is fast approaching.To say it’s been a fun one to follow would be a massive understatement. From the moment football and soccer kicked off in September to the closing innings of the baseball and softball regular seasons, there have been plays, achievements and teams we will never forget.One of the first games I covered for The Ellsworth American was a boys’ soccer game between Ellsworth and George Stevens Academy in September. In that game, Ellsworth came back from a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 in overtime. After Colby Clarke scored the game-winner, the team sprinted to the hill on the opposite side of the field to celebrate with the student section.I’ll never forget the looks on the faces of both teams after that game. To borrow an old sports cliché, it showed every aspect of the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” The raw emotions present on the field at Ellsworth High School that day were a reminder that, although a sporting event might be “just a game,” it can mean so much more.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textPerhaps it was just a gut feeling, but I knew from that moment that the upcoming season was going to be a special one. That gut feeling was correct; fall brought about Bucksport football’s bounce-back season, state and regional titles for the GSA girls’ cross-country and boys’ soccer teams, respectively, and Mount Desert Island’s first Northern Maine football title.Winter brought basketball season, and with it came the excellence of the GSA boys’ basketball team. From Taylor Schildroth’s 61-point game to Jarrod Chase’s title-winning shot and everything in between, the Eagles were appointment viewing every time they took the court. It’s not easy to live up to the kind of hype GSA had before when the season began, but Dwayne Carter’s team answered the call every step of the way.The MDI boys did the exact same by winning their first Gold Ball since the school’s consolidation in 1968. On the girls’ side, GSA earned the No. 2 seed in Class C North and made it all the way to the regional title game. In the process, the Eagles ended a three-year hex of falling one game short of the Cross Insurance Center.Then, there was wrestling. Of all the unforgettable moments from this past sports season, the roar from the crowd and the tears in head coach Dan Ormsby’s eyes after Bucksport’s David Gross recorded a pin to win the state’s heavyweight title might be at the very top. As Bucksport fans celebrated afterward, the champ’s father said it best: “It doesn’t get better than this.” It’s hard to disagree.There have been other moments, too. The Ellsworth and MDI swim teams finished their seasons on high notes at the state championship meet in February, and it’s likely that at least a few Hancock County baseball, tennis and track teams will add to the list over the next two weeks. After all, playoff games and championship meets are where some of the best and most emotional stories are written.In a way, sports journalists aren’t the only people who write those stories. We do type, research and report them for all to see, but in order to find them, someone has to put them in motion. In sports, that “someone” can come in the form of a player, fan, coach or anyone else who defines what these events can bring to our daily lives.Before long, it will be time for football, soccer and cross-country again. In the endless cycle that is the world of sports, there are also endless opportunities. As long as sports stay around to influence who we are and what we do, so too will the stories they tell. Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 Latest Posts MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020 Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 Bio Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.