Since I have been the editor, I have been able to do things I have not had a chance to do in a long time.  Back in 2011, I was a contributor to Catch it Kansas and I had a lot of fun during basketball season going to the various high schools and getting to watch games to report on.  I would have loved to have had a chance to do more, but life got in the way (divorce, death in the family, etc).  Before too long, it was a case of just following the scores on game nights and telling the kids stories of the different gyms I had a chance to visit.  I had my favorites, and no, I am not going to tell which ones.  
I remember when I was a reporter for KMUW at Wichita State and interviewing candidates for mayor in Wichita.  I remember talking to people for reactions on campus after the Columbia Shuttle tragedy in 2003.  I missed those days, getting a chance to go out and talk to people.
Over the years, I became a published author and that was a lonely existence.  It is you in front of a computer screen with just your thoughts and imagination.  That worked for the next decade, but I really missed this.  
Walking into the gym for the first time in Wellington last December, I was overwhelmed with so much emotion.  I was getting to use skills I had not had a chance to use in quite a number of years.  As I sat back and watched, though, I began to feel a bond with the players.  I watched them win and lose over the next few months.  I watched them continue onward with the injuries some of them sustained.  I saw them come together as a group.   I was lucky enough to personally interview some of them for the newspaper. They are the most dedicated, hard-working people I have been lucky enough to meet and talk to.  
Where I grew up and went to school, it was not the happiest of places.  I never felt like I belonged there and spent most of my time there waiting for my chance to escape (graduate) a la Tim Robbins at the end of The Shawshank Redemption.  
I have enjoyed Sumner County for most of my life.  I have written books that were set here; I have even written a movie.  At one point, I was prepared to see three million dollars spent here as part of that movie, but a back injury in late-2016 put a temporary halt to that.  
Even though I live in Augusta and Butler County, my heart is in Sumner County.  My kids living in Augusta are what keep me living there, but I love any chance to get back to Sumner County.
With Wellington and Sumner County, I feel I have come to my place where I want nothing more than to connect and be involved.  I have grown to be quite fond of these kids out on the court and be proud of what they accomplish.  They are among the best and brightest I spoke of a few weeks ago in my column, and I cannot wait to see what they accomplish next.
These kids are going to Salina for to play for State on Wednesday, and I want to wish them the very best.   No matter what happens up there, I know I will be writing the words ‘they did their very best.’