To quote the words of the great poet Robert Frost, "Nothing gold can stay."
This month, the Newton County athletes who make up the class of 2008 will soon bid farewell from their respective schools.
For me, it's bittersweet, as I am happy yet also a bit disappointed.
I am happy that I had the pleasure of meeting these great young men and women for the first time since my return to The Covington News after a year hiatus away from the paper.
The disappointment is that I haven't had the chance to see them as freshmen grow up, and now they are on the brink of graduating high school.
It will be a bit awkward not seeing them around next year. It will also be kind of hard seeing a new person take over their respective jersey number, as well as seeing a new person take over that senior's position on the field, mat or court.
But the real question that comes to mind is who will take over the new role as leader?
Those questions will be answered next year, but for now this is a time of celebration.
I am going to miss guys like Brett Cason, Eric Stozier, Ryan Ledford, Cody Edwards and the rest of the seniors on Alcovy High's football team for reminding me what unity and family is all about.
I am especially going to miss Kelvin Rhodes. He has been going through so much in his life, but yet I have found my kindred spirit. Kelvin has made a lot of mistakes and certain things in his life were pretty bad, but what I do know is that redemption is just around the corner.
No matter what you do in life, Mr. Rhodes, just know that I have the utmost respect for you and that I am proud of you.
I am going to miss the senior wrestlers at Eastside High, and will never forget interviewing Brandon Cole for the first time during the South Metro Wrestling Invitational last season.
I was blown away by how Brandon remained very poised yet didn't hesitate when asked a difficult question about the team. That first interview with him - along with Dalton Temple - showed me the type of character this particular team had, who went on to win the traditional state wrestling title.
Finally, I have to take my hat off to Newton High wrestling seniors Joey Joseph and Daniel Mendoza. I watched these guys this season and both have so much heart, leaving everything on the mat.
Yet, Joseph - recipient of the 2007-2008 Wresting "Warrior" Award - wrestled injured and sick yet never complained or let anyone see his in pain. And Mendoza was the team leader who took it to the opposition on the mat day in and day out.
Both of these young men will leave Newton as men of courage and determination, and you simply cannot do anything but respect that.
Although I can't address every senior that I would like, the abovementioned are just a few examples of the greatness regarding what Newton County sports entails.
These seniors have contributed so much and will leave behind a legacy that has set the bar at a much higher level for the next upperclassmen.
It's an honor I'll embrace when the time comes to watch the next generation of local athletes make history in this outstanding community. The excitement I hold for this new group will surely keep me doing what I love for a long time.
Thank you, congratulations and best of luck to the class of 2008!
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