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OPINION COLUMNS

Thanks for letting me share your successes

By Clay Corbett | Published Saturday, January 11, 2014

As I sit at my desk, I wonder how to say goodbye. I never thought it would come this soon.

It seems I’ve had to do it a lot.

Growing up, my plan was to graduate college, get a job and stay put for the next 40 years. That’s not the way my career has worked out. But working at numerous media outlets, broadcast and print, has allowed me to really appreciate getting to work with a great team here at the Messenger.

The opportunity to come work here in August of 2012 is something I will always cherish.

In a day where the future of print media is in doubt, the good people of Wise County should feel very lucky to have a product like the Messenger to turn to.

I’ve worked at a lot of local media outlets, and none are even close to the level of this newspaper. The high readership and national and state recognition year after year speaks for itself.

I’m blessed to have been a little part of it for a small amount of time. Other communities aren’t nearly as fortunate – believe me.

The staff has been tremendous to work with, and I hope some of their knowledge rubbed off on me along the way.

Having to cover eight schools is never easy, but it provides a lot of great memories.

The past six months have been exciting – particularly with the fall season that the Decatur athletic program put together. From another successful trip to the state cross country meet, to an area championship in football and then a volleyball state championship, it was quite a ride.

State championships are rare, and it was an honor to be able to cover Decatur’s first volleyball state title. Congratulations, Lady Eagles! I’m rooting for you to repeat, which I know you will have a great chance to do.

Thanks to the coaches, athletes and parents who have helped me so much. No one can do this job alone, and their contributions are vital to what I do.

A special thanks to Joe Duty, Mack Thweatt and Jimmy Alford for their great photos over the last year-and-a-half. They make my job so much easier and keep the sports section looking great every issue.

Rest assured that the sports department will be in great hands with the return of former sports editor Richard Greene next week.

Richard and I have been good friends since high school and worked together in one way or another for many years. As most around here know, you couldn’t ask for a better person to lead the sports department going forward.

As I head back to Cooke County, which is home, and get ready to embark on my new adventure, I thank you again for the opportunity to tell your stories.

Goodbye, Wise County – I’ll miss you.

Clay Corbett is sports editor of the Messenger.

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