Connor Mugshot

Connor J. Benintendi

LYNDEN -- This does not directly relate to sports, but I feel it is important. As of Friday, Oct. 22, it has officially been a month since I joined the Lynden Tribune.

Week after week, and game after game, has flown by in what has felt like a fraction of the time it has been. I have enjoyed every second of it. There are so many more experiences yet to be had, and relationships to build. 

The crux of my motivation to write this is mostly to say thank you. Every one of you — whether an athlete, coach, athletic director, parent, or community member — have welcomed me into your environments with resounding kindness. 

Additionally, I am thankful for the connections I have made with other local media members who have assisted me in several ways already. Your generosity to a brand-new journalist in the area is more than appreciated.

I decided in my sophomore year of high school that I would pursue sports media with everything that I have. Admittedly, I was never a very good athlete. Becoming a journalist was the next best option to competing myself. If I was around sports, I would be happy.

For that to have finally come to fruition is a feeling I find difficult to put in words. I do not take a single day of doing this job for granted, especially with the industry's competitive nature. 

Before starting this position, I was coming off nearly two years of online college classes. My friends, peers and professors were all reduced to a small talking box on my computer screen. Moreover, I was hardly ever meeting new people beyond that medium.

I have made more meaningful, gratifying connections with members of this community in the last four weeks than I experienced over the entirety of those two years. That speaks for itself.

When I graduated two months ago, I had no clue what was next. The only certainty was I would be trying to cover sports in some capacity, somewhere. I was so set in my ways of consistently working from a desk that remote positions sounded like the best, most comfortable option.

Instead, every day is now a new experience.

I never know who I will meet or talk to – which outstanding athlete I will witness excel in their sport. That is a welcome change from the repetition of online school.

This is a whole new world for me; one that I have taken quite a liking to. After covering university sports for the last three or so years, I had forgotten how captivating prep competition can be. I have already had the pleasure of watching some incredibly thrilling contests that still stick with me weeks later.

Put simply, I am having a lot of fun.

As I said earlier, this is just a thank you. I appreciate everyone who has made my short time covering the sports teams you all love such a great joy. 

It's only been a month, and I can't wait to reflect at the end of another. If you see me at a game, or in public, or wherever, say hello. Interacting with you all is what makes this job so enjoyable.