A lot of good things happened this year and are worth looking back on.
Before I get started, I know I’ve already covered something I’m thankful for in the Around Town section. That one just happens to be my favorite answer, especially now that Christian McCaffrey just helped me take down Sarah Holt’s first-place team in fantasy football this week — a week where I forgot to set my lineup and had three starters in a bye week, plus Chris Godwin and his 26.27 points on my bench, but still got the “W.”
On a more serious note, 2019 hasn’t been terrible. I could think of a lot of things that happened this year and were good. Why stop with Around Town? Here’s what I’ve been grateful for this year.
To every source that’s gotten back to me, especially before deadline, thank you. Journalists are, by nature, not the easiest people to work with and we’re not entirely faultless ourselves. I’ve written some pretty cool stories this year and none were possible without your help.
I got to catch another high school state championship game this year. That alone would be cool, but it was even better that we got an extremely rare baseball matchup with two schools just a stone’s throw from each other going at it for the state championship. It was an excellent, emotional game and I’m hoping lightning strikes twice and we get another all-local matchup, whether that’s another Plant City-Strawberry Crest thing or you add Durant somewhere in the mix.
Plant City’s changing and I think a lot of it’s been positive, at least in terms of this year. There’s a new energy in town that even my friends who live elsewhere have picked up on. I would say this has probably been the most fun year to live, work and play here in the six years I’ve been around. I’m glad there’s a new energy here and I’m looking forward to seeing how things develop over time.
It’s been a challenging year professionally with just Breanne Williams and myself writing for the paper. Those of you who have been with us since the beginning or pretty close to that know this is the smallest staff we’ve had, well, ever. But we keep on trucking no matter what and I’m grateful that folks still put their trust and patience in us and read the paper every week. To add to that, I’m also thankful we still have a strong support system in the Observer and can continue to bring you the news in all walks of life.
On a personal note, some things broke my way this year and others didn’t, but I’m still doing well and so are the people I care about. One thing that stands out right now is that my nephew Emerson was born this past weekend. I’m working on the “cool uncle” thing over time and hope I’ll nail it, but I’m at least glad I’ve got the chance to do so. He’ll probably be a swimmer like his dad but I’m hoping he’ll take up wrestling, too.
Anyway, I hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving and gets through Black Friday unscathed.