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A fond farewell to the local sports sceneAugust 29th, 2011 at Mon, 29th, 2011 at 9:39 pm by Erick Walker
Well, it has come time that I move on.
As some readers are already aware, Sept. 9 will be my final day here with the Reporter Newspapers.
I will step away from the position with considerable emotion — happy, sad, excited — as I’ve been a sports reporter since 1995, when I was still attending Eastern Oregon University. I’ve covered everything from prep bowling and rodeo (really, I did cover a rodeo or two) to the Tacoma Rainiers and Seattle Mariners.
When I began, my goal was to cover Mariners. I was able to do that with the South County/King County Journal several years ago, which is when I came to the realization that the real fun was in covering the preps. Through the years, I’ve been able to cover some of the best prep athletes in the state along with multiple state championship games and matches. Covering the kids always was a blast. I loved hearing and telling their stories and, quite frankly, they were the reason I’ve been in the profession so long.
Realizing I have a strong passion for the kids, I decided a little more than two years ago to enroll at City University of Seattle, where I recently completed a two-year Master’s in Teaching Special Education degree. A part of me that many people are unaware of is the fact that I grew up with 37 foster siblings, four brothers and one sister. That atmosphere had a profound impact on who I am today, and where I want to go as a teacher in the immediate future. That background also is the primary reason I chose to enroll in a special education program.
The road to becoming a teacher will become a reality to me this week. Monday morning (Aug. 29), shortly after I arrived here at the Kent Reporter office, I received a job opportunity that was too good to be true. Beginning Thursday, Sept. 1, I will be working as a special education teacher at Kent Mountain View Academy. It’s an opportunity that has overcome me with both excitement and nervousness. No doubt, my job ahead is going to take all my time and effort, but I am ready for the task at hand and look forward to making daily positive impacts on the children in my classroom.
That said, however, there are so many memories to recount that a simple blog post does not suffice (my son, Asher, taking on Demitrius Bronson in a footrace after a Kentwood football game several years ago comes to mind or Lou Piniella once asking me, “Son, don’t you understand, those questions are meant for before the game?”).
Several more posts might be in order.
I am quite certain that I will still be out at a good number of football games this season, probably with Asher, who is now 12 and who became my sidekick at many sporting events about six years ago. If you see us, please don’t hesitate to say “hi.” And, time pending, I likely will continue to post on this blog.
In the meantime, understand that it has been an absolute pleasure serving the local prep fans since I came to the area more than a decade ago.
Thanks so much.