Thank you for everything

So it’s come to this. After a wonderful two-and-a-half years as the sports reporter here, this is the final time I’ll be writing for the Fort Frances Times.
As you are reading this, I’ll be driving across the Prairies for the next great adventure of my life—working for the Airdrie City View and the Rocky View Weekly newspapers in Airdrie, Alta. starting later this week.
Though excited about moving west, I’m sad about leaving Fort Frances as I’ve grown to love this town a ton ever since I started to cover sports here for a living.
I never felt like I’ve really worked a day during my time here, and the day that starts happening is the day I quit plying my trade in this field.
A lot of that feeling has to do with everyone I’ve met here along the way in Fort Frances, as they have helped me out in one way or another.
So, in what may be the closest thing to a sports column that also can be used as a horrible Academy Awards speech, I would like to tip my hat to many of those people.
We begin with my predecessor, Dan Falloon, who wrote in his farewell column back in December, 2010 that the next person to replace him more than likely would depart in a span of 12-24 months.
Well, Dan, seeing that I was here for 30 months, I’m slightly pleased to have proved you wrong in that regard, and will gladly accept a Byron Buxton rookie card as a payment for a bet you were unaware you were taking part in (I’m kidding, of course; well, except about getting that Buxton card from you).
Now that we have that bit of business out of the way, I need to thank the Cumming family and my editor, Mike Behan, who pretty much allowed me to be myself in my writing and around the office, which is greatly appreciated.
I also need to thank those I had the chance to work with in the Times’ newsroom since I came to town.
Current reporters Duane Hicks and Heather Latter, Sarah Pruys, our summer reporter for the last two years, former reporter Peggy Revell, former summer reporter Zoey Duncan, and former co-op student Nicole Horn all were a blast to sit alongside with, though I’m sure they probably still are amazed that one man could freak out so often for British soccer transfer rumours.
Everyone else here at the office has been awesome, too, but I especially need to recognize John Pierce, who has helped me out with any issues that I may have had with getting hold of people, fixing things up on my car and around the house, or being around to listen to me ramble about the OHL.
On the sporting side of the things, all of the coaches, athletes, and organizers of events here have been great to deal with, as they have answered any questions that I had about their activities.
And, of course, I need to thank you, the reader. For without you, I would just be writing a bunch of words that no one would be looking at.
I can count on one hand the number of complaints or angry messages and e-mails that I’ve received since I came here, so I guess I must have been doing something right.
Moving away from Fort Frances, I always have been of the belief that behind every individual is a number of people cheering them on. I certainly have had that support from my family and friends back home in Sault Ste. Marie and elsewhere.
There are far too many people to name here, but I cannot repay them enough for everything they have done—and will continue to do for me.
Anyway, my replacement, Joey Payeur, is raring to go here in his return to the sports desk after a nine-year hiatus, so I’d better get out of his way and let him do his thing.
Thanks again for everything, Fort Frances. I hope to see you again somewhere along the way.

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