After almost seven years of working for the Cass County Democrat Missourian, I’m saying goodbye.
It’s been a roller coaster of a ride these past years, with some definite highs and lows.
Some of my highest points have been getting to know all of the athletic directors, coaches and student-athletes. I will never forget the first time I saw a class of seniors graduate that I had been following since they were freshmen. It made me feel a little old, a little nostalgic and most definitely proud.
Of course, going to state events are always high points. Even though I have only made it to state football once, I will always remember standing on a NFL football field, watching the Harrisonville Wildcats cruise to a Class 3 title. I will remember sitting on the mats at the Mizzou Arena in Columbia, watching several wrestlers grapple their way to state championships. I will remember standing along the course or along the track in Jefferson City, taking photos of cross country or track and field athletes running for state glory.
I have enjoyed watching these athletes grow, not only taller for some, but also as individuals. Cass County has some of the most polite high schoolers anywhere. They always call me ma’am, which makes me feel old, but I appreciate the sentiment. They have great sportsmanship, even against their rivals. They work hard, not only on the court, or field, but also in the classroom. They go on to college where they have great athletic careers and strive to become future leaders.
Covering the athletes in Cass County puts me in a strange position. No matter the rivalries, whether it’s Harrisonville against Pleasant Hill, Raymore-Peculiar against Belton or Archie against Drexel or Midway, I know all of the players. I support them all. I cheer them on. I want them to do well.
As I go on to pursue another path, I want to thank all of the athletic directors, coaches, student-athletes, parents and other community members for their support.
Thank you for being patient when in May 2011, I went from covering six schools to 12 overnight. Thank you for being patient as I sorted out becoming the sports editor of the Lee’s Summit Journal as well. Thank you for being patient when I couldn’t attend as many games as I used to.
It has always been my goal to just do the best I could to recognize the student-athletes of Cass County. It has never been easy and I worked hard and long hours to do so. But I did it for those athletes. I hoped that some of my coverage could help them be awarded for their hard work. And I was awarded anytime they said “thank you.”
Although I love sports, I have chosen to move in a different and equally rewarding direction. Maybe one day I will attend some games just for fun. I have always wanted to sit in the stands and be able to cheer.
See you around the field.