Confession time: From the second I took this job, from the very first day I got here to work, I had second ideas.
It was September 2016. I used to be 29 years outdated. I used to be from Hopkinton, New Hampshire, and except for school had by no means lived anyplace in addition to the world round Harmony since I used to be 5. I used to be coming from the Harmony Monitor, which I had grown up studying and the place I had labored since I used to be in highschool. A spot that felt extra comfy to me than a favourite sweatshirt.
My nerves weren’t simply stemming from the place I used to be leaving, however the place I used to be going. The Kennebec Journal in Augusta, Maine? Was I certain about this? I by no means knew anyone from up right here. The drive up for my interview felt prefer it took the entire day. At the moment, I can inform you it’s actually not that lengthy a drive from Harmony to Augusta. However 5 and a half years in the past, it certain felt like one.
It was going to be a complete new space. Entire new group of individuals to cowl. Entire new workers to work with. I questioned the query: Did I make the correct choice? For some time, I didn’t know.
Now, I do. Sure, I did.
It’s once more time to maneuver on. I’m becoming a member of the workers of the Portland Press Herald, the place I’ll proceed protecting enjoyable, fascinating and necessary sports activities tales within the state. It’s an thrilling alternative, and I’m wanting to get began.
This new job, nevertheless, has a troublesome act to observe.
Working on the KJ (in addition to the Morning Sentinel, because it got here to be) put me within the firm of nice individuals, and within the presence of some nice tales. I used to be launched to so many gamers, coaches, athletic administrators and numerous others concerned with sports activities within the central Maine space, and obtained to develop and strengthen these relationships.
I do know I made the correct selection due to these individuals. Followers who make investments themselves wholeheartedly within the efficiency of their workforce. Gamers who perceive and respect their capability to raise their colleges and communities with their efficiency. Coaches who know I is likely to be calling a couple of nice matter, however may also be calling with an disagreeable one, and who choose up the cellphone regardless.
It’s solely been 5 and a half years, I’m not coming at this with the identical long-term perspective that Travis Lazarczyk final yr and Mike Lowe with the Press Herald this yr dropped at their goodbyes. However I obtained to see some highlights. Nice groups that went on championship runs. Nice gamers. Nice venues. And nice video games.
Need a few of these highlights? OK, certain.
• How about the Maranacook boys basketball workforce in 2020-21, which had a championship-caliber roster, misplaced an opportunity to formally show it attributable to COVID…after which simply proved it anyway by enjoying the best degree of basketball within the state?
• Or the 2016-17 Messalonskee women basketball workforce, which got here into the season with excessive expectations, went undefeated and ended up successful the Class A championship seemingly with out breaking a sweat?
• How concerning the 2016 Class D South soccer last, when Lisbon beat Winthrop/Monmouth 20-17 on a landing with lower than a second to go? How concerning the state last the very subsequent week, when MCI beat Lisbon when a botched discipline aim turned as an alternative right into a game-winning landing?
• How about having the chance to doc the just-completed basketball seasons for Skowhegan’s Jaycie Christopher and Nokomis’s Cooper Flagg? I’ve lined highschool basketball in Massachusetts, the place Division I expertise dots the rosters. I’ve by no means lined a greater women basketball participant than Christopher. I’ve by no means lined a greater boys basketball participant than Flagg.
So there have been highlights. However they haven’t essentially been the most effective elements of the job.
The perfect half has been speaking to gamers after video games, and seeing their face mild up after they discuss getting the successful hit, making the successful basket or scoring the successful landing. It’s been listening to an athlete discuss his or her private story, and feeling the story develop extra intriguing with every element they supply. It’s been attending to know coaches so properly that speaking with them on the cellphone looks like speaking to a pal.
Like I mentioned, it’s concerning the individuals. The individuals have been nice. And so they’ve made certain that, each time I ask that query from 5 and a half years in the past, I get the identical reply.
Did I make the correct choice? I certain did.