My watch has ended.
For the last eight years — four of them here at Courier Life Publications — I have had the privilege to be your eyes and ears, your evaluator, and a watchdog in New York City’s local sports scene. It’s a role I dreamed about since my days playing high-school basketball in the Catholic High School Athletic Association, one I took seriously and found so much joy in.
Nothing beats being at the big game, writing about the rising stars, uncovering the hidden gems, and bringing to light instances where the kids or coaches weren’t getting a fair shake.
That time for me has ended.
This will be my last column as my career has taken me to a new place and on a new path. You will all enjoy who is coming next to this paper as Laura Amato, a rising star in the business, takes over for me.
I leave not just this medium behind, but a community that welcomed me with open arms from day one and never left me with a boring day.
My job never felt like one — outside of those 12- to 14-hour playoff days, or when news broke and my wedding date was yelling at me to put my phone down. My passion was fed by the enthusiasm, concern, and love that came from the city’s players and coaches — who left me with too many amazing moments to list here.
One state-championship winning softball coach once told me I was part of the family. I leave truly feeling that way and want to thank all the people who touched, changed, and bettered my life along the way. My hope is I somehow returned that favor.
I do exit saddened by the lack of coverage the current click-driven media reality has created for high-school sports in New York City — and I am thankful that this paper continues to see the value in it.
There are amazing stories to tell, incredible people to give their due. One story or one comment to a college coach can aid in bettering a player’s life and help them to move forward in the world.
All I ever wanted to do was to produce stories good enough for the kids to frame, good enough to show to their grandma and grandpa and send to aunts and uncles out of state. A “thank you” from a player was worth more than any amount of money.
All of it — every typed word — was for the players and no one else.
Just because I won’t be around every day to watch the next crop grow up, doesn’t mean I won’t take a moment here or there to check in on my family — to just talk to and congratulate them or magically appear at a can’t-miss event.
It is why I will not say “goodbye,” but “see you soon.” This business and New York City has a way of eventually bringing you back home.
My watch has ended. My love for it all never will.