Thank you for welcoming me to a place that doesn't need to be great again, it just needs to continue to be the way it has always been!

It is over when it seems like we just got started. I'm talking about this column and my run as Sports Editor here at the McPherson Sentinel. Beginning Monday I will take on a new challenge as our Circulation Manager. So, same work address just a different daily activities, all in the name of continuing to bring you McPherson County's best source for local news and sports.

As I make the transition I could not ride off into the Sports Editor sunset without expressing what an amazing city and county we live in, not that you don't already know that. From my time coaching football at Moundridge to my time doing play by play for the McPherson Bullpups to this six-month stint as Sports Editor, striving to give all of our high school athletes their due recognition, I have been blessed to witness some amazing young people who still play the game with a genuine love of and passion for competing.

Where I came from in Florida most athletes played in one or two sports at most and that was about all of the involvement in school activities as they had. The band was the band kids, the choir was the choir kids, drama was the drama kids; all separate and presumably equal but rarely did anyone cross that imaginary line that separated the athletes from the, ah, non-athletes let's call them.

What a difference I found when I moved to Kansas four years ago. I saw kids playing football who then grabbed an instrument and played in the band at halftime. There were football players who played basketball, or was it the other way around? And most of both also competed in track and field. There are no lines, imaginary or otherwise, that hold young people back from being all that they choose to be.

When you go to the fall play put on the drama department, who is in them? Athletes and non-athletes alike, working side by side to put on the best presentation they can. Choir, clubs, debate team and student council, all a mixture of kids from across the spectrum of the student body. I am sure this is partly because schools are sometimes so small here that kids have to do this or some activities would cease. But I also think it is because our educators and parents in Kansas got the right idea about how to produce well-rounded kids.

It has been a thrill for me to witness our young people explore talents in such a wide variety of areas. And I've gotten to learn and understand how all schedules get adjusted for harvest because that is what kids do in Kansas, go help their parents and grandparents work on the farm. It is no wonder the best of what America has to offer is grown right here in Kansas, not just in the fields but on the fields and in the classrooms.

Though a new challenge for me starts Monday I will still be around, continuing to be the play-by-play voice of McPherson College sports. I will also be at the ball fields and the gymnasiums across McPherson County cheering on the home town teams. And everywhere I go I will still be in awe of the outstanding young people we have in our county, as well as, the parents and coaches who lead them along the way.

Don't ever change Kansas. It is nice to live in a community and county that produces such well-rounded, well-behaved, highly-athletic, multi-talented, down to earth, genuinely good young people. And thank you for welcoming me to a place that doesn't need to be great again, it just needs to continue to be the way it has always been!