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See you later

By JAKE FURR Reflector Sports Editor jakefurr@norwalkreflector.com • Aug 18, 2017 at 12:30 PM

Well, that didn’t last nearly as long as I thought it would.

Today is my last day at the Norwalk Reflector as your Sports Editor after spending the last year in the position. It is bittersweet I have to say. For as long as I can remember, my dream job has always been to be a Sports Journalist. I never thought twice about it. I read everything I could get my hands on, finished high school, graduated college and jumped right in head first.

When I started this job, I honestly thought I would retire from this position. I thought I would outlast everyone in the news room and heck, who knows, maybe I would have taken over the publishing duties one day. But things change and I cannot help that.

So why am I giving up a dream? Well sooner or later, dreams change and live comes at you fast. I didn’t fully understand what it really took to be a successful sports reporter until I was already in it. I never really thought about the fact that you may as well kiss your Friday and Saturday nights goodbye. You might as well kiss you nights goodbye any day of the week actually. And that makes it hard to have a family life.

When I was going through the week to week life of being a sports editor, I kept thinking, “How will I be able to raise kids and do this job successfully?” And I always came to the same conclusion: I simply cannot. So that is another reason I need to step away. I am at that age where kids are in the very near future and I want to make sure I have a job that will allow me to have the time and the financial ability to raise a family.

My wife Sam has been my biggest supporter. She is the one waiting around at home until 2 a.m. on a Friday night when I finally get home after putting out the pages. She is the one sleeping in the bed on Saturday night while I try to finish up Monday’s pages enough so I could take Sundays off; that hardly ever happened. So I am looking forward to giving her the time she deserves for putting up with me for so long. 

I believe I am making a conscious decision with this move. I have 40-plus years left to work and make enough money so I can hopefully retire one day. I would be a liar if I said I believe newspapers will be around that long. Now, I do believe the Reflector is different. The Reflector doesn’t have a huge company hanging over its head making every micromanaging decision like some places I have worked. So maybe this paper will be around longer than what I think. But I think it is the right move for what my long term goals are.

But don’t think you are getting rid of me that easy! I have a job now that will give me the flexibility to still do this as a freelance writer. You will still see me out at some games, but my main focus moving forward will be on features. There are still so many stories I want to write about some of the best athletes I have had the privilege of working with. I can’t completely give up on my passion. So don’t think this is the last you have seen my byline.

In my year, we have seen some amazing things in the high school sports scene. They are memories I will take with me forever. This has been one of the best years I have spent in the business and some of the best stories I have ever had the privilege of writing. So for not I do take a major step away from the business, but there is one thing I hope I did in my time; I hope I set a great standard for the sports pages of the Reflector.

I hope I have given the readers something to look forward to for many years to come. I hope the readers come to expect the same coverage we provided over the last year.

Moving forward, I have no news as to who my replacement will be, but I know that Logan Greszler and Cary Ashby will be working extremely hard to keep the sports pages going and I have a lot of confidence in both of them. They both worked very hard for me during my time here and I hope I have set them up to succeed moving forward.

I have to give a huge thanks to those two guys. Cary write news and does sports on the side, but his passion for area sports is unmatched. He puts in his 40 hour week writing news for the Reflector and then turns around on Friday nights and covers football, will pick up a basketball game during the week and pulls double duty on Friday and Saturday during hoops season. And he has shown a big interest in covering some volleyball for the Reflector this season. He is a major asset.

Logan was my right-hand man who allowed me to keep some sanity and take some time off and he would cover me in the daily duties. If it wasn’t for him, I would have probably broken down a long time ago. Logan has showed the passion it takes to do this job successfully and is a very promising photographer so I am glad he will be sticking around for years to come.

I have to say thanks to Joe Centers for taking a chance on an unproven sports reporter who had just one year of full-time experience in the business and trusted me to take over and do the job well and providing me with the resources needed.

It was a wild ride.

I look forward to taking a step back and still writing on my own terms. I would love to do a lot more features for years to come. So if you have a cool story out there, feel free to shoot me an email at furr.24@osu.edu. I would love for all of the readers to stay in touch and keep me posted on anything they think would make a great story.

So as cliche as it may be, I will not say goodbye, but I will say see you later!

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