Dear Audubon County Advocate Journal readers,

I want to say thank you to all of you. Everyone. Whether if you’re a parent, a student, or a just a fan/ supporter of Audubon or Exira-EHK, thank for being a supporter of the Audubon County Advocate Journal.

There’s no easy way to say this, but it needs to be said as you all deserve to know what is going on with the paper you read every week.

I have been offered a sports writing position over in Bellevue, Nebraska and earlier this week, and after much self thought, talks with my family, my fiance, with some friends, I have chosen to accept the offer.

Next week will be my last week with both the Audubon County Advocate Journal and Atlantic News Telegraph. My precise last day will be Jan. 25th.

This was obviously a hard decision as the communities of Audubon, Elk Horn, Exira, and Kimballton have been nothing short of a pleasure, and it has truly been an honor to write for your communities as both the Wheelers and Spartans are blessed with great coaches, great athletes, and great supporters.

Though I know my time here was very short, I have made some unforgettable memories, from Audubon’s UNI dome run, to Exira-EHK football team and boys basketball team each going to sub-state last year, to Audubon getting three individuals, to the state wrestling tournament last season, and Dylan Obermeier going undefeated up to Des Moines.

Speaking of wrestling the feature on Exira-EHK’s Evan Hansen, a three time national champion still remains one of my favorite conversations, as it was great to hear his story form the high school days to becoming one of the best wrestlers in all of America.

Or from Audubon’s tennis team getting their first winning season last year in about a decade, or the handful of features I had the chance to do, besides Evan’s the feature on Audubon’s Timarie LaFoy, UNI drum major, was a fun story to do, all the senior spotlights were always one of my favorites as I was always interested to see what the students goals were after high school.

I only wish I could’ve done more of those senior spotlights for that reason.

I want to say this bit especially to the students, whatever your goals are, go for them. Someone is going to try to tell you that you cannot do something.

No mater what career you want, more times than not, here’s the bottom line.

If it’s meant to come true, it’s up to you.

If you want something, make a plan be flexible with that plan, because nothing ever works out perfectly, but once you have a plan made go after with a shark-like mentality, by that I mean, no matter what keep moving and working forward, don’t stop trying.

I always wanted to have a career is sports in some manner, and I ‘ll always remember the Audubon County Advocate Journal and Atlantic News Telegraph as my first stop.

Working with the other folks in the profession here has also been lots of fun. With Bennet Blake and Tom Robinson at KSOM, to Chris Parks and those at KJAN, Kayd Nissen during the Wheeler’s state runner-up run, and so many more folks from other papers. I would love to name them all but, alas spacing is not infinite sadly.

Though I am very excited to cross the river and begin work there in Bellevue, I am going to miss these communities greatly. From talking with all the coaches after games, before games, or just running into each other at other games or places in Atlantic, Audubon or where ever, the students and upcoming athlete will have great leadership to look up to for the foreseeable future.

The students are another topic. This goes for the coaches as well, without them this job would not be the same, let alone possible. To me being a sports writer is about making the gig about others and tell their stories.

My name my show up as the author, but this position to me has always been about the students, the coaches, the communities. I’m just the one who gets to tell you their story.

While the spotlight is nice and all, without a passionate community, the coaches, athletes, supporters, being a sports reporter would not be possible.

Having the privilege to interview and get to know the students in these areas has truly been awesome. There’s a lot of great students at Audubon and Exira-EHK, and even at the Atlantic area schools. I have no doubts that there’s a lot of students at these schools that are going to continue to rise up in the world and accomplish great things.

The News Telegraph and Audubon Journal staff I know are already looking for a new writer. I’m sure many of you are wondering what will happen in the meantime.

The editors in Atlantic will be taking care of the Advocate Journal as they search for a new writer, I trust that they will take great care of your communities as they search for a new reporter.

Whoever, takes this position next I hope serves these communities well, as these communities deserve a great writer that will cover these communities with a passion as strong as Audubon has for the Wheelers, and as strong as Exira, Elk Horn, and Kimballton have for the Spartans.

I’m proud to say I will be here to write one more edition of the sports section, so as saddening as it has been for me to write this to you all, I’m glad to know I have one more week to report on you teams, to watch them play, and just be a part of what is truly a special place for one more week.

So much more could be said, and I wish I could say more, I guess the main thing I want to say is...

Thank you.

For allowing me to be one of the voices of the latest happenings of your teams, for having me as part of the community, for supporting the Advocate Journal and News Telegraph, for everything you do.

Whoever comes here next, will learn quickly just how awesome it is to cover these schools.

I can assure you as I move on to new adventures, I will certainly keep a close eye on how the Wheelers and Spartans perform as time moves along.

God bless you all, and have a great weekend everyone.

May or May not use this depending on space.