Column: Sports editor bids a fond farewell

Published 12:51 pm Friday, January 14, 2005

By Staff
Doesn't it seem like I just got here?
In fact, some people still refer to me as the new guy, or the new sports editor. I'm sad to say, though, that on Monday, I'll be the new guy in another town.
Six months after Niles welcomed me to town and the Daily Star took me in as sports editor, I must be going. It's time for me to move on in my career. I've accepted a position as sports reporter at the Marion Chronicle Tribune in Marion, Ind.
Although I wasn't here long, I've had a great six months. In that short span, I've meet some amazing people and gotten the opportunity to cover stories that I never dreamed I'd cover in a small town for a small newspaper. And I've had a blast doing it.
This job and this community has given me opportunities I'll never forget. I was able to follow Buchanan's football team into the playoffs, something foreign to me. Where I come from, every high school team makes it to the playoffs.
This fall I also enjoyed covering Brandywine and Buchanan's girls' tennis teams as they both advanced to the state finals. Both are top-notch programs with classy coaches. Brandywine's Joe Marazita and Buchanan's Cuppy Mace were two of the most welcoming personalities I met while here.
Perhaps the most exciting event was Niles girls basketball team's run at the state semifinals. While the Vikings ended a step short, they provided some memorable games and some impossible comebacks. The girls' team is another one guided by a fantastic coach. I had the honor of covering Jim Arnold's 300th victory and watching him hug his grandkids after the win.
While at the Daily Star, Niles' Ben Landgraf won the golf state championship. No one is more deserving. Landgraf is an incredible kid that's as good in school as he is on the links.
As a one-man sports department here at the Daily Star, I rely heavily on the cooperation from athletics directors, coaches and managers for information, results and stats. Everyone I've worked with has been extraordinarily helpful and willing to work with me. Especially the coaches, who have always found time to talk with me.
One day, after talking with Niles wrestling coach Bob Galvin for the first time, I turned to my partner in crime Scott Novak, sports editor of the Dowagiac Daily News, and said, "I think it's a requirement that to coach at Niles, you have to be an incredibly nice person." True story.
Of course, the people at Brandywine and Buchanan have been amazing as well. All three athletics directors, John Danaher of Niles, Joe Austin of Buchanan and Vance Stratton of Brandywine, have done everything possible to make my job easier.
In closing, I want to thank everyone who has taken time to read my stories or columns and tell me they enjoyed them. I'll even thank people who said they thought my writing was total junk, because they too taught me something.
That's what I'll take away most from this job - the lessons I've learned. This was a terrific job to have as my first job right out of college. Now I'm ready to move on.
And keep an eye out for me. Someday you'll be able to see on ESPN's Around the Horn and say "I knew him when he was just a kid."