My high school English teachers would certainly be amazed by my positive (I think?) contributions to this newspaper over the last three years. It has been a great deal of fun, and I must admit I have at times enjoyed those 15 seconds of fame. Over the last several months however, churning out A Sporting Life has become increasingly more difficult. In my retirement, I have lost the day to day contact with high school and middle school athletics, causing me a very uncomfortable feeling that I am beginning to repeat myself. I have certainly gained a tremendous amount of appreciation for journalists, who produce multi-columns each week, and have become a huge fan of Times-Dispatch’s Paul Woody.
My thanks are heartfelt. My gratitude extends to the Fausz family for this fabulous opportunity to be a part of this wonderful local paper. Chester is incredibly lucky to have Mark and Linda. They have a tremendous love for Chester, and I know they will continue to work tirelessly to make this the best community it can possibly be.
I can’t thank my fellow coaches enough for their openness in dealing with me as a reporter. As I continue as a Matoaca coach, it has been special that they have trusted my journalistic fairness. Coaches Geof LeSueur, Barron Cheatham, Holly Schwartz, Theresa Bridge, Dick Anthony, Doug Sable and Dave Duncan have been receptive even at a time when I was actively coaching against them. Bill Bowles, Troy Taylor and Kevin Tucker welcomed me into their football programs. Joey Richeson, Lee Battan, Larry Stewart, and Ron Paquette were always gracious in their positions as Activities Directors.
In covering the non-revenue sports, it was always a blast highlighting the efforts of student-athletes who rarely were noticed by other media outlets. Andre McLean, Brianna Hayes, Yahkee Johnson, Neil Richards and Anna Spiers were just a few of the athletes that will always be special to me.
I especially thank Ron Paquette and Chuck Thomas for allowing me to be a part of the L.C. Bird Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for the last three years. I never had much love for the Skyhawks, but these evenings allowed me to see, first hand, how special their coaches and student-athletes have been over the last 30 years. I hope that they will continue to invite me to cover this wonderful event.
And finally, a huge thanks to the readers of this column. Your kind words have been a source of great encouragement. Not wanting to let you down has kept me on my toes.
For the first time in my life, the Village News allowed me to see a real joy in writing. I will continue to write for my own pleasure, and I hope the paper will keep me on board for feature stories or for an occasional column.
For now, I simply bid you …. FORE!