Instead of spouting off about random sports topics like I usually do in this column, I’m going to go a different route. I have a bit of personal news for everyone.
Today is my last day at the York News-Times. I’ll be covering the Centennial girls’ basketball district final game in Utica on Friday night, then hanging up my YNT media pass.
What will I be doing next? Stay tuned to my twitter account @YNTMarik to find out. I apologize for being so vague right now, but long story short: I’m incredibly excited and happy about taking the next step in my career and life with my beautiful wife, Casey.
Now, I don’t want to make a big deal about this.
I didn’t even want to write anything about it, but I felt like I needed to give some shoutouts on my last day.
I want to thank Carrie Colburn, the YNT publisher. She’s an amazing boss who really cares about her employees. I always felt like I could walk into her office and rant about whatever was irritating me that day. I don’t think going into the boss’ office and chatting away is common at most businesses. But her door was always open, and I really appreciated that.
I want to thank sports editor Ken Kush, too. As a young guy about a year out of college, I had *a lot* of growing up and learning to do as a sportswriter for a daily newspaper. Any time I made a mistake, I would get really down on myself.
But Ken always said not to worry about it and move on, and that’s really what you have to do in life. That was some solid veteran advice that always stuck with me.
Ken also taught me that to do this job, you need to grind and put in the hours.
And wow—Ken and I put in a ton of hours covering prep sports together in his area. I know that to some, this job doesn’t seem all that hard. Sure, type some words on a computer and take a picture once in a while — big whoop.
But I’m telling you, this gig isn’t for the faint of heart.
You need to be dedicated to write stories during the day, then travel to a school to cover a football or basketball game at night — then do it again, and again and again. You better be OK with not seeing your significant other for an entire day, eating supper at 10:30 p.m. and falling asleep at, like, midnight or 1 a.m. in the fall, winter and spring seasons, too.
I want to thank Eric Eckert. Everything that I know how to do right now, either with posting content to the YNT website or with photography and video, Eric taught me. I really would be stuck in the stone age of media if it wasn’t for Eric, who, for those who don’t know, has a sweet little mid-range jumper on the basketball court and has fine taste in movies, which is a love of mine.
Although, he does take unnecessary shots at the greatest movie ever made: the 1998 blockbuster “Armageddon” written by J.J. Abrams and directed by the great Michael Bay.
I want to thank Mel Wilkinson. She’s an absolute rockstar news reporter and York is lucky to have her. Every time I had a journalism question, Mel was
there to answer it. I’ll miss the laughs we shared in the back room of the YNT office. I feel like I could talk to Mel about everything.
And Pankratz, I want to thank Kerri Pankratz. She’s the person that builds the newspaper you read every day. She’s the designer that makes all the special sections the YNT does look awesome. She’s the one I call at 9:58 p.m. to make a change in the print edition because I said Johnny Two Shoes scored eight points, when in fact he scored 10.
I’ll miss the conversations with Pankratz, too.
Pre-Covid, it’d usually be just Pankratz, Mel and I in the back office just working away while the world kept spinning. We’d talk and laugh about a whole bunch of stuff. Some of my favorite memories were dissecting the latest episode of Game of Thrones back when it was hot in the streets.
However, Pankratz is another who, unfortunately, seems to not appreciate the sheer impact that Armageddon has had in modern cinema. A little too many jokes about it if you ask me, but that’s neither here nor there.
This thing is getting long, and there are too many people to thank who have helped me and been kind to me in my five-plus years in York.
To all the the high schools and their custodian crews who that have let me stay late into the night to finish what I was working on — thank you. To all the coaches who still kindly answered my postgame questions that I probably muttered because I was really nervous to talk to them or in a rush to beat deadline — thank you.
One more before I get outa here: thank you to Mark and Dan Clark — the best high school football stat keepers in the state.
If there was a tournament for football state keepers, those two would be an undefeated No. 1 seed. It’s hard to describe just how helpful Mark and Dan were during my time in York. They gave me the stats to every York Dukes football game I covered, which is such a massive weight off my shoulders.
If it weren’t for those guys, you wouldn’t have known how many yards the Dukes rushed or passed for on Friday nights. That stuff was so important to a story, and Mark and Dan made it possible. They are studs at their craft.
I could go on, but I have a Cross County boys’ basketball game to get to.
Thanks for reading.