For those who don’t know, this will be my final issue as the sports reporter here at the Register.
It has been very difficult for me to say my goodbyes to many of you the past 10 days or so. The last 14 months truly have been a blast with many sporting highlights in the Allen County area that will be remembered for a long time.
For starters, my first high school football game to cover was a five-overtime thriller between the Iola Mustangs (much love) and Parsons. Parsons came back from two scores in the fourth, but I know this season head coach David Daugharthy will have the boys fired up and ready to play.
So many other special memories came in the fall, and some outside of the office for me. Getting to coach the Piqua State Bank flag football team with Heath Curry at the Iola Recreation Department was a blast. The kids were great, and I can’t wait to see what athletes they grow into.
The winter was filled with a lot of basketball, but despite all the games, one night stood out among the rest for me. Forever Fillies night orchestrated by Becky Carlson was a special sight to see, and really put on display the sense of pride here in Iola.
Toward the tail end of the winter, wrestling came to the forefront. Iola wrestling was not well known, but Downtown Logan Brown put it on the map when he became the 285-pound heavyweight champion. I can’t wait to see where head coach Jason Bates takes the program from here! Getting to tell your story was one of my favorites.
In the spring, we got robbed of baseball, softball, track, boys tennis, and gold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been a rough patch for everyone, but it has been so beautiful to see how this community has each other’s backs through this rough patch in everyone’s lives.
We were lucky to have baseball this summer, but it was unlucky the senior or junior Iola American Legion Baseball squads couldn’t chase a state championship.
Legion baseball was my first event to cover, and maybe my favorite. I made so many relationships with many of you involved with both the A and AA Indians. There are too many to name, but players, coaches, and parents — all of you made me feel at home in rural Kansas.
My final Legion game to cover was a crazy one. The A Iola Indians down seven runs in the final inning came back to score 10 runs to topple rival Chanute in a two-game sweep on a beautiful Thursday night.
It was a special night for me, and my final big event to cover before I move to Washington, D.C. I truly will miss Iola, along with all the faces here that I saw on a daily basis.
Your compliments for my work mean the world, but it wouldn’t have been possible without my publisher Susan Lynn. She took a chance on someone with no knowledge of the area, and I will always be thankful for my first job out of college.
The Register really is a special publication with a fabulous staff who are dedicated to seeing the community of Allen County thrive (no pun intended). They will continue to give you the best sports coverage in the area, and the best daily newspaper in SEK— I promise!
Until I return, thank you Iola and the rest of Allen County!