After six years in the Flathead Valley and eight years in the Treasure State, this is the last week Iíll be working in Montana.
After the paper prints on Saturday, Iíll be packing up and moving to Arizona, where I have taken a new job at the Todayís News-Herald in Lake Havasu. Itís a step up in responsibility, and a lot closer to family.
Iíve written and scrapped the super-sappy version of this column a few times, but to sum up that bunch of words: Thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. Everyone who Iíve ever met or worked with in any sort or capacity, thank you. Even if you donít think I remember you or your interaction with me, youíre probably wrong, and thank you too. Players, coaches, teachers, parents, administrators, ticket takers, stat keepers, readers, referees and fans, thank you.
Iíve had a lot of fun in my time working here and all of you are the reason for that. Iíve covered state championships in nearly every sport. Iíve written about local athletes in the Super Bowl, Olympics, Grey Cup and various World Cups. Thatís a lot to ask for from a tiny corner of a sparsely populated state.
Iíve also had fun outside of the big moments, attempting to ski, trying to ice fish, hiking in the backwoods and a lot of other activities that could have killed me if done wrong.
This is a beautiful place to live and a fun place to work, even if many times I was stuck inside our windowless building or inside a windowless gym. Thank you for making this a great place to work and thank you for all of the feedback, good and bad, that has helped me hone in my craft.
On that front, most of my thanks go to Inter Lake sports editor David Lesnick. Heís the unsung hero behind the scenes that made sure they hired me in the first place. Heís been the driving force behind not only my writing, but most of the writing in the Flathead Valley for the last 25 years.
Also a quick thanks to my other sports cohorts over the years: Dixie, Steve, Sam, Andy and Evan.
The frigid, 70-degree winters and year-round golf in Arizona may be on tap next week, but until then thereís a lot to look back on.
Thank you all.