Thank you Highland County: it’s been a blast

By Robert Stegbauer - [email protected]

My mother made me get this job….kinda.

Three years ago in August, I was eight months removed from college graduation still looking to start a career. One day my mom picks up the Times-Gazette newspaper and sees an add looking for a Sports Reporter. She immediately told me I should apply. Now I was a decent writer and I love sports, but to me, those were my other qualifications. But mothers will always think their kids can do anything. Turns out she was right, as usual. Three years later, I’ve decided it’s time to move on to something else.

First of all, I have to thank my Times-Gazette family. I came in here the young kid who didn’t know much about journalism at all. Just knew who to write and had a love for sports. Up until I started this job, I had never picked up anything other than a $60 Kodak camera for general pictures. You guys welcomed me in and helped me through the transition. Now, three years later, I can tell you a lot more about the cameras I’ve been using during that time and I’d have to say, my ability to get ‘that picture’ has improved.

My time at the paper has been nothing less than amazing. I’ve watched freshmen become seniors and covered varsity athletes that I used to have in basketball camp when I was in school and I’ve gotten to watch my Alma Mater, Lynchburg-Clay’s boys basketball team compete in the Final Four at Ohio State University. The best part of it all was that I was able to watch it along the way from right under the basket. I’ve been able to go to the state track meet all three years I’ve been here which is crazy, and watched Fairfield finish in the top ten as a school at the state cross country meet. Needless to say, I have been blessed to watch some very talented athletes from across the county compete in just my three short years.

What has really made this job what it is though, is the students. Not just the athletes, but all of you. I have seen some crazy, unorthodox, and clever things come out of the student sections these past three years. Some things that make me shake my head and other that make me bust a gut laughing. From the very start, I have felt welcomed at the schools I cover by the athletes and their student body. I’ve become known as ‘The Paper Guy’ or ‘the guy who takes our pictures’. Athletes coming up to me the next time they see me after their picture or name was in the paper and thanking me has always brought me joy. So thank you all. Some of you I’ve covered for maybe one or maybe three years. Either way, you’ve made this job fun and exciting and no matter what, I came to work looking forward to covering you all.

So in closing, thank you Highland County: it’s been a blast. I hope you enjoyed having me as a sports guy as much I enjoyed doing it for you. I’ll still be around and you’ll still see me at some games going forward. However, I’ll have a seat in the stands rather than along the sidelines.

By Robert Stegbauer

[email protected]