The end always comes suddenly to the high school sports season.
One minute, you are preparing for Friday night football. The next, you are scrambling to do the last interviews at state track.
I’m quite a professional at this process by now. Although I now have other duties at The Citizen, my first love will always be sports reporting.
It’s what I know. It’s what I do.
Going down to state track over the weekend, one tweet from a Platte County senior helped remind me about the importance of that part of our job.
I’ve said since I arrived back in Platte City almost two years ago that we don’t undertake sports coverage because it’s easy. We do it because it’s important.
The readership seems to agree.
We take pride in being the only place for comprehensive coverage of Platte County, West Platte, North Platte, Park Hill and Park Hill South sports. We continue striving to find ways to improve and stay relevant as a weekly publication, but the product is stellar.
Of course, our flag touts our newspaper as providing “complete county coverage,” so all aspects are important, but we can feel confident we live that ideal by being a source for athletics, activities and all manner of news. The connection to communities makes that effort special.
Tyler Clemens, a graduated senior at Platte County, praised me for “legit being everywhere” covering high school sports and labeled me his “favorite media man.” That sentiment meant a lot, especially after going to Jefferson City for state track after four trips to Weston for state baseball in a span of seven days.
I haven’t taken a full weekend off in I’m not sure how long.
And Clemens’ words helped me to reminisce on the past two years a bit. These seniors are the first class I really felt like I knew since taking this job, and that feeling of familiarity is nice.
A lot of these student-athletes greet me at the field, park or court and offer help when I have dumb questions about what happened in the previous game or an injury I didn’t know about.
There’s so many seniors that I will miss covering and interviewing. I won’t name the names because I know I will forget some, but they stretch from Dearborn to Riverside and everywhere in between.
To any of those kids moving on that read this, buy a subscription some day and help support us. But most importantly, don’t be a stranger.
Hope to see you back around at some point. Thanks for the memories.
Speaking of former athletes, Park Hill graduate Landry Shamet made a prominent appearance at Kauffman Stadium over the weekend.
The former Trojans basketball standout caught the first pitch on “Wichita State Day” over the weekend from current Wichita State teammate Conner Frankamp. Both players have ties to the Kansas City area and also received a broadcast interview to talk about themselves and the Royals.
Shamet even discussed a close call with a foul ball off the bat of retired New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who he called his favorite player going up.
I guess I will let that one go, but just goes to show you how much has changed with the Royals in recent years. Not many kids growing up in recent years will point to a favorite player outside of the Kansas City organization another 15 years from now.
Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.