Long-time sports writer pens farewell message
Due to a few personal health concerns, I am stepping down as the sports writer for The Humboldt Chronicle effective May 31.
Back in 1997, Lisa Lacy called me and asked if I could help them out at the Courier Chronicle for the summer to finish out Little League baseball. Ms. Martha Dodson hired me and said the job paid $200 and a tank of gas. I was told that they would find someone by fall to start high school football.
Twenty-one years later, ole Barry is still doing sports but my time has come to call it quits, as I am no longer 36 years old.
I would like to thank Victor and Scarlett for allowing me to work for them the past couple of years for Gibson County Publishing. I want to thank “Chief” aka April Jackson for allowing me to do my own thing the all the years she was my boss. April never ever told me what to write or what not to write. I thank her for all her years of service to the newspaper. She and Danny Wade always cleaned up my articles and made me sound grammatically correct and I am thankful to them both. Thanks to Danny for making the sports page look the best every week. Also thanks to Leanne Butler and Kim Forbes for always keeping me in check; a special thanks to Leanne for always paying me every two weeks.
As my thank you list continues, I want to thank all the people that read my articles weekly. The late Ms. Bettie Bass told me several years ago that she always enjoyed my articles but I never knew that she even liked sports. One year I wrote that in an article that I thought Ray Lewis was just as guilty as O.J. Simpson was. A week later, a guy I went to high school with gave me a hard time about it. I told him I didn’t know he even read The Chronicle.
I would also like to thank all the coaches, administrators and statisticians over the past 21 years for their help. I could not have done my job without the help and cooperation of all the coaches at Humboldt High School and Junior High School. Coach Glover, Coach Craig, Coach Tucker, Coach Bland, Coach Reid, Coach Shepherd, Coach Tackett, Coach Boykin, Coach Abernathy, Coach Tritt, Coach Willingham, Coach Yates, Coach Allen, Coach Bunch, Coach Rice, Coach Colvin, Coach Barnett, Coach Maclin, Coach Butler, Coach Ingram, Coach Scott, Coach Thomas, Coach Rice and AD George Yarbro were all part of my success as they allowed me complete access to stats and their locker room. If I left someone out, I do apologize for not mentioning everyone.
The best part of the job was getting to know the kids that participated in sports or cheerleading. Over the last 21 years I still see many of them out and about, and they always speak to me. We have good kids in our school system and I’m proud to say that I have been just a small part of bringing their success to print each and every week.
So if anyone is interested in applying for the sports job at The Chronicle, I will gladly help.
I am not sure what the qualifications are for the job but you need to have at least these four characteristics. First of all you need to have a love of Humboldt City Schools. I am proud to say that I graduated from HHS in 1978 and will be a VFL (Viking For Life). Secondly, you need to know a little bit about writing and be familiar with a computer. Thirdly, it will help to know about all areas of sports. Lastly, you’ve got to love being around kids.
There’s nothing better than taking a great picture for the paper and then that kid coming up to you and thanking you for putting their picture in the paper. Yeah it’s good to get paid every couple of weeks but it’s even better when that big smile comes across their face with a thank you too.
Thanks to my wife Sandy for going to all the basketball games with me the last 10 years. She is originally from Crockett County but she quickly became a Viking fan no doubt. Also thanks to my kids Ben and Rachel who helped me do stats while they were in high school at Humboldt.
Last but not least, thanks for all the kids that played sports and allowed me to take your pictures and write about your accomplishments each and every week for the past 21 years.
During basketball season, I wrote an article about wearing black uniforms and some people were upset because they weren’t our team colors. In the article I wrote, “It’s all about the kids” and it is. I may not be on the sidelines this fall, on the court in the winter or on the diamond in the spring, but hopefully I will be up in the stands cheering on the Vikings and Lady Vikings.
Barry DeLoach, sports writer/photographer