Moving on with seven years worth of memories
As the famous saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
I will have to say it has been quite a ride over these last seven years. But it is time to bid my farewell.
As some of you may know, last Wednesday was my final day at the Ledger-Transcript. While I have greatly enjoyed my time as your local sports guy, it was time to move on. It was time to take the next step in my career.
For someone who had very little experience in this business when I arrived at the Ledger-Transcript in September of 2006, I leave as a seasoned newspaper man.
I have reported on a lot over the years — from sports to crime and everything in between — and will take all that I have learned to the state capital for my new adventure with our sister paper the Concord Monitor, where I’ll be working with the Concord Insider.
This job has prepared me for whatever awaiting in the future.
As a one-man show for quite some time, it has not always been easy. Late nights writing stories, weekends spent covering games and always being available when the phone rings with a coach or interview on the other end. But it has all been worth it.
My goal was always to give you the best possible sports coverage and I feel as though I was a successful in that endeavor. Hopefully I have set a standard for what covering sports in the Monadnock region is supposed to be.
When I started generating ideas for this column, I quickly realized that there are just way too many games, people and memories to include. I guess that’s what happens over the course of seven years.
There have been some really great moments and others that fall on the other side of the spectrum. But no matter the circumstances, good or bad, my job has always been to ensure you have the most up to date news.
And in turn you have brought me into your homes and made me a part of your daily lives. My stories and photos — from what I have been told — hang on refrigerators all over the country. It’s quite humbling to know how much of an impact I have had on this community and it is truly something I will miss.
For the rest of my life, I’m going to remember my time here. Of course I will never forget the long list of championships I covered, but all those little inspirational stories of success and perseverance are what this job is all about.
A long time ago, I learned how much of an impact you can have by writing a story about someone’s accomplishments, no matter how big or small.
And now that I am done reminiscing for the time being, let’s take a look at some of the moments over my last seven years.
∎ I will never forget the day Stephen Record passed away. I was at the Keene State Holiday basketball tournament on Dec. 27, 2007, to cover the Conant boys and heard about the accident. A short time later I was informed of Steve’s passing and was stunned.
I had just seen the 16-year-old the week before at the girls tournament and we talked about the upcoming season. I remember waiting for hours in line at his wake to pay my respects. It was just one of those moments you won’t ever forget. And about a week later I was sitting in Ron Record’s living room talking with him and Lisa about their son, which allowed me to tell the story of who Steve truly was as a person.
∎ Watching WLC’s Gabby Trombley round third base after crushing a two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning of the Class S softball championship game in 2007 — which I predicted entering her at bat — is one of my favorite all-time individual moments.
∎ The excitement in the Mascenic gymnasium last winter when the girls basketball team finally snapped its 94-game losing streak that spanned the better part of six years made for one of the most uplifting stories of my final year.
∎ Being a part of the Conant boys dominance of Class M/Division III was amazing to watch. There was the 63-game win streak, the five straight titles and the incredible talent that always strived to be the best. I always said that every other team was playing for second and the Orioles proved me right year after year.
∎ While the Mascenic golf team’s run of four state titles in five years is something that may never happen again, it still irks me when I think about the injustice of the one year they didn’t win. I still can’t believe they actually cancelled the state tournament and awarded the championship to the team with the most wins despite having three undefeated teams. Mascenic was far and away the best team and deserved the chance to prove it.
∎ You might be hard pressed to find a better time for running programs in the area than in the mid-to-late 2000s. With the ConVal boys winning back-to-back Class I and state titles and the Mascenic boys winning three straight in Class M-S, the team success was incredible. But so was the individual. The likes of Alex McGrath, Job and Jacy Christiansen and John Little just flat out dominated and turned many young athletes on to the sport.
∎ This past spring was a great way to spend my final championship season. Outside of the scheduling, it was amazing to have both the ConVal softball and Conant baseball teams win state championships on the same night. It ranked right up there with when both Conant basketball teams won in the same place, on the same night.
∎ I still remember my first game. It was a loss for the ConVal softball team versus Monadnock on a Friday afternoon in April of 2006. Fast forward seven years and my final contest was a WLC boys soccer team win over Derryfield. I wish I had the chance to talk about all the ones in between.
∎ I will miss my occasional challenges against local athletes and then having to painfully write about my failures. The low point has to either be when I lost to five members of the Peterborough Wave Swim Team in a 50-yard race at Adams Pool (one swimmer actually lapped me) or when I almost lost my breakfast after running the 200 meter at Conant.
I wish I had time to relive all the moments, but there would probably be a shortage of ink.
I feel as though I have truly grown so much over these seven years, both personally and professionally. This will always be where I got my start and I will never forget that. I just want to thank everyone for their loyalty, patience and understanding.
This job was never easy, but it sure was a lot of fun.