Alex City, it’s been a good runPublished 4:53pm Friday, July 15, 2011
When I first started working in Alex City in August of 2008, I didn’t really know what to expect and I’m not sure the people who hired me did either.
I had completed all of my college classes and just needed an internship to seal the deal. I interviewed to be a sports intern at The Outlook, but the job went to someone else so the paper could have a full-time sports editor.
However, after the person who was hired took the position, he abruptly left within a week and I got a call back to see if I was still interested.
Not really wanting to go through the application process again and glad to get to have a chance to focus on sports, I took the spot and was thrown into the fire right before football season began.
I had very little experience and had never even heard of some of the schools in this area, but in a few short days I was going to have to put together a football preview section, learn how to cover volleyball games, shoot photos and design a page with two or three stories on it each day.
And with a small, busy staff at the paper at that time, I was going to have to figure out how to do these things on my own in a hurry.
Tim Reeves, my former boss who now works in Selma, was the one who decided to give me a shot and after a few days of him showing me the ropes, I began to feel comfortable. I only worked with him for a few months, but I still use some of the things I picked up from him and I appreciate what he did for me.
In the sports-writing business, the coaches are the most essential to the job, as they’re quoted in almost every story. It took me a while to adjust to dealing with all of them, but once they got to know me a little bit and vice-versa, the vast majority were very easy to work with. Some gave more to print than others, but pretty much all of them helped me at one point or another and I wish them continued success.
For three seasons, I kept track of as many touchdowns, home runs, 3-pointers, birdies, digs, aces, pins, goals and so on for Benjamin Russell, Dadeville, Central-Coosa, Horseshoe Bend, Reeltown, Edward Bell, Lyman Ward and Central Alabama as I could.
I won’t be covering them any more, but I will be checking to see how they do when I get the chance. I’m now a fan of them all.
While there were aspects of the job that made it feel like a job — the long hours, the last-second problems, the dreaded unanswered phone call when you need it most — being sports editor had many more pluses than minuses. I love sports and it was fun to watch games for a living.
In March of this year, my current boss Kenneth Boone gave me an opportunity to further my career by offering me the news editor position. It was something I had never considered trying, but it was an interesting proposition.
After some convincing, I decided to move on up. It was a fairly steep learning curve, as there is a lot more to news than sports.
Plus, I hadn’t written a news story since college.
But with some help here and there from everyone in the newsroom, I finally settled in and got used to it maybe quicker than I thought.
I learned something new nearly every day from the time I started through Friday, my last day at The Outlook. After a lot of deliberation, I’ve decided to pursue other career opportunities.
So, I’m writing this to basically just say thanks to those inside and outside of the office who have helped me during my time in Alex City.
What started as a 10-week class turned into a three-year job, and it’s been a good experience that I won’t forget.
I wish good luck to everybody and I hope you will do the same to me — I’m probably going to need it.