There was a moment of silence in the office on my last day when everybody was gone, at least in my section of the building. It dawned on me that this would be the last time I’d see some of my co-workers, who have become my family, at least for a little while, and that’s OK.
It’s OK because they know, like I do, that I’m taking the next step in my journey. I’m just a kid from Macon moving on to his second job, post-graduation in the beautiful city of Chattanooga.
I will always remember this place and the people in it because this was my first job.
It was a learning experience. I made some mistakes here — a lot of mistakes. Some people burned me for them and others tried to help me out. Both made me a better journalist; a better person.
Those mistakes have taught me valuable lessons. Lessons I will carry with me throughout my existence on this Earth.
I write this having grown tremendously since May 15, 2014, my first day at The Covington News. I thank the city of Covington for that, and especially my coworkers at the Covington News, who have become my extended family. But most of all, I thank my editor Bryan Fazio, who gave a chance to a dumb, young sports editor from Georgia Southern. Because of him, I'm now a dumb, young sports editor with a little more experience and slightly better skills.
From the first game I covered, the 2014 Newton vs. Eastside All-star game, to my last game, Wednesday’s Alcovy vs. Rockdale baseball game, I enjoyed every minute. I became a fan, objectively, of all three high schools, the recreation department and Oxford College. Although I tried to never let it show in my writing, I always rooted for Alcovy, Eastside, Newton, the Newton rec. department and Oxford — unless they faced each other and then I just wished they'd tie.
As sports editor, I've faced a lot of free criticism. Some rightfully so and some was severely off-base, but that comes with the job. People expect you to be a public relations specialist and that's not my job. My job isn't to put your child in the paper so that he or she can go to college — colleges don't care who is in the paper anyway. I'm here to report the news, whether it's good or bad, but it's just high school sports and some take it a little too seriously. That's fine.
I’d like to think that I reported a lot of good things that engaged the community and represented its athletes well. I’ve gotten plenty of love throughout the community and I want to thank each and every one of you who ever gave me a compliment on anything I ever did, it meant a lot.
I’m not going to drag this out because, as you know, you never can say goodbye. See you later Covington. Thanks for everything.