It is with a heavy heart that I announce my time with The Circleville Herald is drawing to a near close as I look onward to new opportunities at The Richwood Gazette starting Friday, Sept. 17.
I’ve tried to write this column in so many ways. I pride myself on being transparent with those close to me but also with those I grow a professional relationship with. It’s always hard to say goodbye, but trust me, these memories and stories I have will stick with me for the rest of my life.
In recent weeks, I thought long and hard about the future; scary, I know. It was not too long ago that I was offered another sports editing opportunity with the crew at The Richwood Gazette and The Marysville Journal Tribune.
Upon my acceptance, I flipped through a catalog of memories this county has given me and to tell you the truth, it made me sad. Sad, because I am leaving a community that prides itself on athletics but most importantly, its athletes.
For those still in high school, I feel for you. The world is vast, making it difficult to transition, especially given the new age we are living in. But with faith and little bit of luck, you too can make this world your forever playground. I made it mine.
They say if you do something long enough and good enough, people will start to notice. It can also be said that luck is just a point where opportunity and preparation meet. I look forward to my new position and I hope to give my new market something that will make them smile.
Starting in Ohio, I grew to love the many interactions I had serving and talking with local individuals, public officials and sports fans alike. Being a journalist, you are taught get the info and regurgitate it for the masses and quickly. Never, not once was I told about the community investment you must have in order to be successful in any field of reporting — that changed when I started covering sports in Pickaway.
Ohio, specifically Pickaway County, will forever be the place where I found my avenue in the news businesses. I began as a general news reporter covering public meetings, events and breaking news. While I enjoyed the work and loved my readers, I was stuck feeling as though I could offer more to people.
After the Herald’s head editor, Emily Moore, took the position with the newspaper, she alluded that a sports position was available. Being an athlete, she recognized my talent and passion for sports and after a quick conversation, I applied to the sports role. I thank her for always supporting and believing in me while also kicking me in the pants if something needed to be done.
Soon after I accepted the position with the Herald, I immediately grew anxious over the work that was ahead of me, but in this case, I was ready and willing to take it on headfirst. I was originally a general news reporter with the newspaper along with being a reporter for The Perry County Tribune and Logan Daily News, so I was comfortable with my new role.
Reporting sports in this county has been a dream come true for me. I spoke on this previously, but being a journalist is something that I need to do in this life.
I remember getting the chance to speak with a young Teays Valley graduate who has aspirations of becoming a teacher in the future. To help guide her, I told her my personal journey and how at one point, some of my teachers didn’t think highly of me. Some didn’t think anything of me at all.
In the early days of my life in Seattle, I could not read or write; period. It wasn’t until fourth grade where I finally got the hang of writing and reading somewhat fluently, but I was still behind the ball in many cases.
Fast forward to high school, now living in New York, I found a tutor who gave me the passion for writing, but most importantly story telling. It was there I finally knew my purpose in this world.
Some people do not understand when I say this; I am not supposed to be here. A dyslexic kid who had major self-esteem issues never once thought that his words would be read by many. Honestly, my life is a dream come true.
Covering Westfall, Teays Valley, Circleville, Logan Elm, New Hope and Amanda-Clearcreek opened my eyes to the passion young and old people have for their communities and the student athletes in them. It’s truly a beautiful thing to witness and I hope others in the state can see that.
While this may be a goodbye, I hope to keep connections with the sporting community in Pickaway County. To athletes, keep grinding away and chase those dreams. I’ll be watching with my camera ready.