I guess it is best to just rip the Bandaid off with one quick yank — I am both excited and saddened to announce I will be leaving The Morning Sun for a job at a paper to the southeast.
I knew I would be writing this column eventually, but it is much harder than I anticipated. I’ve thought for a while what I would say, how I could convey exactly what these past few years have meant to me. The best I could come up with — thank you, Pittsburg and the surrounding communities.
It’s simple, but perfect.
When I came here in August of 2014, I was in well over my head. I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing, but you were patient with me. After months of soaking up as much information as I could, taking advice from several different resources, I began to find my way.
Before long, I found my style and my voice, and spent the next several years doing my best to provide a respectable sports section this area deserves.
It has been a journey, certainly filled with its ups and downs, but it is one I will always be grateful for and will never regret. My professional career started in Pittsburg, and looking back, it is the best thing which could of happened to me.
During my time in Southeast Kansas, I’ve created many relationships, several of which have blossomed into friendships. My wife joined me midway through and we have started our life here.
When the opportunity for me to move on came, I struggled with the decision. I knew transitioning to a bigger paper was the correct next step for my career, but there was something keeping me from leaving — my readers.
Honestly, it was nearly the same feeling I had when I first got the job as the sports editor, when I just kept thinking over and over again, ‘I am about to leave my home for the unknown’. That’s when I realized why it was so hard, Pittsburg had become my new home.
After talking with a few people around town, taking in advice like I had when I first arrived here, I knew I had to push forth, but I wanted to make sure my readers were made aware of what this area means to me.
Put simply, I have loved the past three years of my life and there couldn’t have been a better place for me to start my career.
Collegiate playoff games and national championships, high school state championships and even a few chances to cover some professional sports — the opportunities were endless. Though, that is just a small part as to why Southeast Kansas’ sports scene is special, the biggest reason this place is rare is the support from the community is unmatched.
My readers have made this job what it is, and I cannot thank you enough for the way you continue to inspire me to better myself as a journalist everyday I step into the office.
As I finish up the month of April, I have been making it a point to appreciate these last few weeks of coverage I have in the area.
The good news is the sports section is in good hands.
Jordan Buckamneer, who I have been training for the past year-plus for this very situation, has accepted the job as your future sports editor. He is a very talented writer and is one of your own. Jordan went to Girard High School and recently graduated from Pittsburg State University.
I have full confidence in his ability to take the lead chair, and to be honest, he is much more prepared for this job than I was. All I ask is you show him the same patience you showed me, let him find his own voice and style, and the results will be positive.
If you are the kind of person who would like to say goodbye if you see me at an event, I welcome the interaction — a simple head nod or handshake would suffice too.
I am excited for what lies ahead, but I will always cherish my time in Pittsburg at the Sun.
-- Lucas Davis is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on twitter @LDsportswriter.