As they say, all good things must come to an end.
I didn’t think I’d be writing this so soon, after just 16 months, but my days of covering Lynden and Whatcom County sports are coming to an end. I’ve accepted the position of sports editor at The Chronicle in Centralia.
I’ve gone back and forth on writing this going-away column, but after all the positive encounters I’ve had with sport-related people over the past 16 months, it seemed appropriate to say my thanks and farewell.
I had no idea what to expect when Michael Lewis and Calvin Bratt took a chance on me, a recovering addict with a criminal history, and hired me to be the sports reporter here (thank you, Mike and Cal).
What I’ve learned since starting in September 2018 is that Whatcom County — and especially Lynden — has some of the friendliest, most helpful people I’ve ever encountered along my journey.
So many have made my job easier, whether it was sending stats after each game or being willing to do interviews after painful losses — I know I wouldn’t want to talk to a reporter after losing. Luckily, Lynden teams rarely lose, which also made it easier on me, as writing winning stories is a lot more fun.
So I want to say thank-you to the coaches, athletes, fans and the parents of those athletes who I crossed paths with along the way. Thank you for the encouragement and the praises. And thank you to the teams for making it to state so many times. I’ll be hard pressed to find another county where the teams and athletes are so talented — seriously, it was nearly a given that at least one team would play for a state title each season.
I also want to thank my coworkers, Brent and Hailey, for making me laugh during 12- to 14-hour production days, and for editing my stories late at night so I could post them to the website.
I want to give a shout out to a few coaches who’ve been especially helpful and great to work with. I won’t name everyone, as that list would take up an entire page, but here are the ones who come to mind: Blake VanDalen, Roger DeBoer, Chris Elsner, Brady Bomber, Brian Roper, Kim Grycel, Ryan Dykstra, Dan Kaemingk, Rob Adams, Ron Lepper and Tom Harmon. They went above and beyond to accommodate me and make my work easier. Thank you.
There are just way too many athletes to name, but I will say the kids here have been so respectful and easy to work with — and, of course, gifted competitors.
My the time you read this I will be on my way to Lewis County. (It is closer to where I grew up in Bay Center, Washington, too.) I will never forget my time here, and if you see me at any future state tournaments, come up and say hi. Thanks again for taking me in, Whatcom County.