The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Talking Sports: Let me assure you, the pleasure has been all mine

 


I suppose Sidney Girls Head Basketball Coach Tyler Shaw said it best. In fact it made so much sense to him - and to me - he said it on multiple occasions.

“They make good humans in Sidney,” he said.

Right you are, coach. No arguments from me. They import good humans, too. Perhaps it’s something in the air that affects whoever graces this area of western Nebraska.

I don’t know that anyone deserves to receive so much kindness as I have over the past 13-plus months, but I’m grateful. It’s not just since I’ve made it known that I’m moving on from Sidney that people have been so good to me. It’s the way it’s always been.

While not the type who enjoys being the center of attention, I was gratified by the sincere gesture of Sidney High School and American Legion Baseball to have recognized me between games of Wednesday’s Legion doubleheader.

I believe the conspirators to be Sidney High Principal Chris Arent and Legion Coaches Tim Herrera and Mark Onstott. My thanks to them is not so much for seeing how red my face could get, but for all their assistance over the past year in making my job so easy. Of course it’s generally the custom to win games after such a gesture, not get no hit!

Oh well. Best thing about sports is there’s always tomorrow.

It’s not just Sidney, but the communities of Chappell, Dalton, Dix, Gurley, Lodgepole, Peetz, Potter and every other little hamlet here, there and in between.

I was determined not to mention here a long list of names to thank. I couldn’t do it in the space allowed, anyway. There are just too many. I must have met hundreds over the past year who either helped me do my job better or had something nice to say - which in itself makes the job easier.

If I were writing that too-long list of names I would have started with the coaches. As sports is part of a kids education, coaches are educators. I thank them for their ongoing contribution to the Sidney youth.

I wonder how many times over a coach’s career he or she will have inspired a student to do something which they didn’t previously think was possible. That thought often crosses my mind - especially when a student earns a personal best at something. It’s not so much the joy on the kids faces after such an experience, it’s the lesson learned that, “Wow, if I work hard I can accomplish anything.”

What a contribution coaches, teachers and educators around here make. And they’re thanking me?

If I were writing that long list of people to thank I would also have to write the names the dozens or hundreds of student athletes I’ve encountered. The maturity level of the “kids” around here has astounded me from day one.

They’ve talked to me not just after the glory of victory but after the most crushing of defeats. How many times do you see professional athletes who don’t have that level of class and maturity?

For every child, of course, are the many parents and guardians that have taught the lessons so well learned.

We’ve tried to make a local sports section here that the community would embrace and enjoy. I have no doubt that will continue. While my name has appeared on most of the sports stories and photos over the past year and some, there are many others here who make daily contributions to this product.

Publisher and Editor Dave Faries has been at least as ambitious as I have in trying to put out the best sports section possible. He’s covered many a game and traveled many a mile in that pursuit. People have been very kind in their appreciation of our efforts.

Beyond high-school sports we’ve managed to get around and find out a little about some other athletic adventures and the people who participate in them. We’ve spanned the globe (or Cheyenne County) to cover bowling, cricket, recreational sports, disc golf, soccer and as much else as we could. I won’t soon forget some of the subjects we covered like Xzavior Roggasch and Stan Fox.

And there’s Caitlyn, Kyle, Jane, Dawn, Charlotte, Marva, Lee, Christine, Sandy, Steve, Tanya and Lauren who made working at the Sun-Telegraph such a daily pleasure. For anyone who’s ever walked into this office, you must have noticed what a genuinely warm reception you get. I’ve been getting that feeling here every day.

Now let’s forget about this sentimental stuff and root the New York Rangers on to a Stanley Cup trophy.

 

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