Hello again, city of Kokomo and Howard County! I am writing to let you know my time as the Kokomo Perspective's sports reporter has come to an end, as I will be pursuing a different opportunity.
I have enjoyed my time meeting and working with sports figures in the community, from athletes and coaches to athletic directors and those who saw their glory days on the court or field decades ago.
Before coming to the City of Firsts, I had no idea how rich in sports history the community was. There's Eastern’s longstanding legacy and winning streaks in football and Kokomo’s historic Memorial Gym. There are so many basketball stories that came from within those walls. And then there are the more-recent victories of the Northwestern girls’ basketball teams. I did my best to dig up some old tales from the archives, such as “Circus” John Byers, but there is so much more to be rediscovered in this community’s sports past.
It was an honor to be a part of so many great events and happenings this past year: many new coaches, many talented athletes making state appearances, the renaming of a portion of Superior Street to Jimmy Rayl Boulevard, Basketball Day Indiana, new construction projects on sports facilities on school campuses during the COVID-19 shutdown, and the recent announcement of Kokomo’s new BobKats, the professional minor league basketball team.
Earlier this year, the community experienced the death of Kokomo sports figure Carl McNulty, who I am also proud to say I visited in his home, interviewed, and photographed a week before his passing. I’m glad I could help the community hear from him one last time.
Additionally, I want to thank all of you who guided me to becoming a better reporter along the way. Those of you who reached out with kind words via text, email, or phone call meant the world to me. In fact, my coworkers can attest to all the screenshot printouts of your messages papered on the wall behind my desk. I also want to thank those who constructively criticized and corrected my mistakes. Bringing attention to such things taught me to be more sensitive and aware in my writing.
I know there are numerous people and organizations I am unintentionally leaving out of this column. The Howard County community was great to work with, and everyone welcomed me in with open arms. I hope you will do the same for the KP’s new sports reporter, John Renfrow, who I know will do a great job with his love and passion for sports.
I thank you all for allowing me into your community, schools, and homes. And thank you Howard County for letting me tell your stories. It was a pleasure.