The Scoop: My time is up, and I thank you for yours

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 17, 2008

By AUSTIN PHILLIPS/Deputy Sports Editor

Changes in the newspaper industry are happening at an incredible pace, and that is often not a bad thing.

Even here at the Shelby County Reporter, we are changing things all the time to make our product accessible and easy for our audience to read.

So, in an effort to better serve our readers in Shelby County, I will be taking on a new role, effective immediately, to expand our coverage like never before.

I would like to take this time, and space, to thank all of our readers for supporting our product.

I would like to thank all the coaches, parents, players, boosters and everyone else who has made our jobs easier by taking the time to answer some questions, return a phone call, take a picture or submit a story.

Because of all of your assistance, we have been able to produce a quality, informative product that we hope you all have enjoyed.

This year, we were able to cover county athletics in a way we have never been able to at the Reporter.

We were able to saturate the market by covering everything from high school football, baseball, basketball, softball, volleyball, track and cross country to rodeos, chess tournaments and kart racing.

And while I feel blessed to have been part of all of it, I also feel fortunate to have been in the county during such a wonderful period in its athletic history.

The 2007 high school football season was one I will never forget, and that was even before Briarwood and Spain Park made it all the way to the Class 5A and 6A championships, respectively.

The basketball season was almost as exciting with Thompson’s boys and girls advancing to the regionals, with the boys coming one step from a Final Four appearance.

In baseball and softball, Pelham looks poised to make a run at the state title and each team has as good of a chance as any team in the state.

This year was also the first time I have covered a soccer match, and there is no better place in the state to watch soccer than here in Shelby County. You mix that in with my kart-driving experience at the MotorSports Racing Club and you get one full, fun year of sports coverage.

I look forward to my new duties and opportunities, but I will always look back in appreciation for the past year of sports.

So, I will leave you with this. As the late, great Jim Fyffe used to say, “My time is up, and I thank you for yours.