It was Moundridge Athletic Director Vance Unrau who summed it up best.
We were talking at a going-away party for Steve Sell at the McPherson Opera House, getting to know one another, when he looked at me and said something I'm not likely to ever forget.
“It's kind of like taking over for John Wooden, isn't it?” he asked.
That kind of comparison to a legend who won 10 championships in his career will get your attention.
I would be lying to you if I didn't admit to some awe at stepping into the shoes left behind by Steve as he begins a new journey in his life, for which I join a multitude of others in wishing him nothing but the best.
Like many others, I grew up with Steve's coverage of McPherson High School athletics in The Sentinel, secretly dreaming of the day I would get my picture in there for some athletic deed I had performed.
Unfortunately, genetics and a re-arranged ankle in eighth-grade football ended those hopes.
You may have concerns about the coverage in the Sentinel— about whether or not we can keep up both the quality and local focus of the last three decades.
I pledge to you, the reader, I will work my hardest to win your trust by providing the best possible coverage I can to all the deserving schools in the area, like Elyria Christian, who is sending athletes to state competition in both volleyball and cross country for the first time in school history.
McPherson County has an unparalleled history when it comes to athletics. I grew up with names like Chad Alexander rocking the Roundhouse and look very much to taking in the atmosphere on a regular basis once more.
This is a new journey for everyone, and it's one I truly hope you decide to take with us.
Oh, and the guy who replaced Wooden at UCLA? Gene Bartow went 52-9 in two seasons with the Bruins and is the school's second winningest coach.