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Thanks for the memories

There are a couple of reasons I don’t often write columns, not the least of which is that every time I do, you are left with a vision of my ugly mug at the top of the column. Nobody needs that.

I’ve always preferred to focus my writing less on my own thoughts and feelings, and more on the goings-on of the prep athletic teams in Dallas County. There’s been so much to follow and so much great talent to cover that I didn’t want to get in the way.

Well, this week is different as it is my last at the Dallas County News. After six-plus years in journalism, including the last 2 ½ here in Adel, I’m taking my notepad and pen and moving in a new direction, having accepted a new marketing and communications position in the Des Moines area.

It was a difficult decision to leave a position I liked in a community that I loved, and there are more people I owe thanks to than there is space in these pages to do it.

I have been lucky to work with such great people over the past 130-ish issues. I couldn’t ask for much more from the countless numbers of coaches, players and school officials who were quick to help me out, whether it was a quote after the game or a score breakdown as deadline loomed. Thank you for your professionalism, your assistance and your endless patience.

In the office, I have been fortunate to work alongside some truly great coworkers. I owe a lot to Bill Haglund — yes, that Bill Haglund, he of the first no-hitter thrown in Swedish baseball history —who gave our supervisor the go-ahead to hire me after sizing me up and down at the 2011 state track meet.

“Yeah, I met you beforehand, and I still told him to hire you anyway,” Bill told me later, a prime example of the wit and charm he brought to the office every day. (You were joking, right?) And the stories. Oh, the stories. He’s lived a fascinating life and has the tales to prove it.

Allison McNeal, a terrific writer and journalist, has been the epitome of a great coworker and friend. We started within weeks of each other in 2011 and have weathered many a storm together. When the going gets tough — and even when it doesn’t — she’s who you want on your team.

Last but not least, thank you to you, our readers. Thanks for letting me know when I met your expectations and also when I came up short. Without your support, we couldn’t do what we love. Clint Cole, whom you may know from such roles as DCN Summer 2013 Intern, is taking over the sports-editor reins. I am confident that he will do a great job.

A lot of my favorite memories are rooted in some way in sports, and that’s probably why I was attracted to this profession in the first place. I’ve worked hard to chronicle those same memories for our readers, and I hope I’ve done a good job. Thank you for reading along.

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