Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

August 9, 2013

Effingham, it's been real

In the immortal words of Harry Dunne, said to pal Lloyd Christmas in the timeless cinema classic Dumb and Dumber, "I expected the Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than this."

Their situation was different than my own, but as a new sports writer moving to central Illinois from Columbus, Ohio, I was anticipating a rough first experience in the business.Over the past seven months, you, the readers, have welcomed me to the Effingham community with open arms. Through all the bumps and bruises that came with working in my first professional newsroom, the kind words I received and quality of character I met kept me hungry and fueled to do my best.

At this point in my life, I've decided to go in a different direction. From all my unnecessary rumblings about my days at Denison University, the plight of Johnny Manziel, NFL Mock Drafts or the joke that is the Cleveland Browns, it was downright obvious I have a passion for football. I have since accepted a coaching position at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., to be the defensive Graduate Assistant/cornerbacks coach. It is an opportunity that I am truly excited about, and I can't wait to get to work.

That doesn't come without the disappointment that I will no longer get to cover the schools, and the area, that I have come to appreciate and care for deeply. Though I may no longer be writing for the Effingham sports section, I know I will forever remember my time here. From the incredible St. Anthony-Teutopolis basketball rivalry, Cumberland's (questionable) runner up finish in the state softball finals or covering the City Series, Effingham and its surrounding areas have a serious love for sports. That's precisely what made my stay here so exciting, so that each time I walked into a gym, or in the stands at a diamond, I knew I was in for a treat.

Thank you for making the past seven months so special, and don't be surprised if I make the nearly four-hour trek back to Effingham at some point this winter to take in a few classic high school basketball battles. I may never end up as the next Urban Meyer, but to quote the wise Lloyd Christmas, "So you're telling me there's a chance."

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