I learned long ago some stories are harder to write than others. Whatever the reason, sometimes the words won’t flow the way I want.
That’s the case with this column, my last as a reporter for the Mercer Island Reporter.
I’ve been offered the chance to build a sports department from the ground up at a local newspaper closer to home — an offer that was too good to say no to. Last week was my last with the Reporter.
In the almost five years I’ve worked here, I’ve covered thousands of games, written even more stories, taken tons of photos and watched middle schoolers join high school teams and graduate from high school.
It would be pretty hard to pick out top moments of working on Mercer Island — from my first day, getting car sick somewhere on East Mercer Way during a tour around the Island, to wrapping up the fall sports previews for the final time last week.
Thanks to the stellar teams the Islanders have had, I’ve had the opportunity to go to just about every state tournament there is and I’ve seen the true excitement and joy that winning those tournaments can bring. I’ve also had a sideline seat for some tough defeats. No matter the outcome, it has never failed to surprise me how amazingly smart, kind and good-willed the people are here.
It will be extremely weird to head anyplace other than the MIHS on a Friday night in the fall, or hit the gym to watch back-to-back basketball games in the winter. As a former band geek myself, I’ve always appreciated the top-notch performances of the MIHS marching band.
In many ways, I’ve felt more a part of this community than anywhere else in a long time. This is the longest I’ve been in one spot since graduating high school. Now it’s time for a new chapter.
Thank you to my fabulous co-workers, both past and present, for making the office a fun place to spend my working life, and to my wonderful family for putting up with my weird hours and the general craziness that comes with having a journalist in the family.
Last but certainly not least, a big thank you to all the readers, teams and people who have been the inspiration for so many of my stories. Muses like that make all the difference.