Time for a new chapter, thanks for the memories

With school back in session and pumpkin spiced everything leering around the corner, it is time for me to say my goodbyes to the good people of Lassen County. It has been an honor to work with not only the Lassen County Times staff, but also the many individuals who make the county one worthy of weekly reporting.

Since starting at the Lassen County Times as a sports writer, I have definitely expanded my knowledge as well as my comfort zone. Prior to this position, I had no idea, nor any interest in learning, what a first down meant in football. Before this job, I didn’t know how many innings were in baseball, nor what it means to have any kills under a player’s statistic sheet in volleyball. Two and a half years ago, I had no idea that I could care so much about a team that watching some of the best players graduate would feel bittersweet.

What a difference.

When I started my position at the Times, I had two main goals: To write articles that were entertaining, informative and accurate and to put as many young athletes in the media as possible.

I feel as though I have accomplished both of my quests.

Regarding the former, I used my lack of sports knowledge to the advantage of my writing. As someone who would have never picked up the sports section on a regular basis, I knew I had to add twists of humor and a bit of imagery to appeal to my less-than-athletically-enthused audience.

While my puns and hidden references to pop culture may not have pleased all of my readers, it did allow me to communicate a hint of my voice to those willing to read between the lines. And though sports is usually a topic reserved for facts, stats and action, I utilized my creative liberty in order to make what I hope is a lasting impact on the community.

As for my second goal with this position, I can honestly say that I have actively tried to put as many children, young adults and adults in the paper as possible. My desire to do such stems from the confidence I felt whenever I was mentioned in the paper as a child. The feeling of pride and the simple belief that I mattered to my community left a lasting impact on me. I feel it’s only right to help others feel that impact as well.

Though it may be a small moment in time for a majority of readers, I believe that when an individual of any age sees his, her or their name in the paper — especially in the sports section — the desire to continue working hard and making the community proud increases. By establishing strong roots in Lassen County, many know they are always welcome and encouraged to contribute their thoughts, opinions and actions to better enhance the community.

For those of my readers who are curious about my next chapter, I will be on a plane heading to Spain tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 5. I’m excited to embrace the culture, the language and utilize my degree in mathematics until I’m ready to return to study architecture in graduate school.

However, before I depart the United States of America, I felt it was important to express some of my gratitude.

To the many parents and grandparents who took time out of their day to contact me and let me know how much it meant to see their child or grandchild in the paper, you have touched my heart.
To the coaches who were so passionate about their respective sports and yet also showed great concern and support for their players, please know that you have also helped me to find the love of the game.
To the two other corners of my triforce, you insured every hard day at the office had a bright side. I cannot fully thank you enough for the impact you have had on my adult life. Please visit.

To the many staff members who have supported me throughout my career at the Times — whether through doodles on my layout pages, discussions of duck eggs, dragging my hard drive out of the trash can, being a “good mom,” laughing at my jokes or simply bringing amazing food to a potluck — thank you.

Thank you for always being a wonderful and welcoming host, Lassen County. I promise to return, just without so much sports talk next time.