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Stage fright not too much fun

By Staff
Nick Johnston, Hartselle Enquirer
Webster defines stage fright as "nervousness felt at appearing before an audience."
I believe it referenced me to "scaredy cat."
This past Monday night at the Hartselle High School Fall Sports Banquet, I was asked to give the M.V.P. Senior Award. Simple enough, right?
Well, there's something about several hundred people staring at me as I speak that makes me nervous.
It didn't effect any other presenter, just me.
I had it all worked out, too.
The following is what I wanted to say…
"First of all I would like to take this opportunity to thank the parents and coaches especially. You have made my job so much easier by being so cooperative and making me feel like I have lived in Hartselle forever.
Please know you are appreciated and I look forward to the coming years with the Hartselle community.
I would also like to congratulate the football team on an outstanding year. I was on the sidelines of every game and had the opportunity to watch this team develop into one of the best in the state.
This team is made up of a fine group of athletes and a fine group of young men.
It is for one of those young men I am here tonight.
Every year, the Hartselle Enquirer presents the Most Outstanding Senior Award, or M.V.P. Senior Award.
This award is not just for the player's on the field talents, it is for his off the field talents as well.
This award is for the athlete with distinguishing character. It is for the person who will succeed in everything he does in life.
Head coach Mike Smith describes this player as a 'Great kid, an A student and never in trouble.'
I have had the opportunity to get to know this young man and I cannot think of anyone else who deserves this award more.
He will be attending Huntingdon College in the fall.
This year's M.V.P. Senior Award goes to Hodge Patterson."
I wish I could have said the previous word-for-word Monday night, but for some reason, I was a stuttering mess speaking only in gibberish.
Why can't I speak like I write?
More than 4,500 people read my work every week, and never do I feel nervous or worried about what I write.
Congratulations to all of Monday night's award winners – you deserved it.