Back in late January, I saw a Twitter post from a friend and Neosho County (Kansas) Community College baseball coach Steve Murry. The post was simple. It read: “What is your why? Show me a picture please.”

That got me to thinking about my why. Why do I do what I do? Why do I put in the long hours and sometimes sleepless nights?

My why is a statement of purpose that describes why I do the work I do and why I live the lifestyle you do. I feel like it is my calling. I feel like it is my conviction.

Looking down through the thread of responses, it included everything from family, to faith, to teammates, to friends. The list went on for several hundred replies.

My why? 

The kids.

We have some of the best student-athletes right here in Goshen County. There isn’t a game go by, I don’t have at least one, and most of the time, multiple students either thank me in person or on one of my social media accounts for being there and the coverage. That means the world to me, and it’s why I keep coming back game after game.

They are the reason why I do what I do. It’s not about Chris Cook. It’s not about Mike Lashley. It’s not about any other coach, school administrator, parent or grandparent. It always has been and always will be the kids.

I truly love my job, and I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else.

From December through March, I managed to cover 69 high school basketball games and nine wrestling events. That doesn’t include a handful of Eastern Wyoming College games, along with high school games which I received assistance from my amazing Telegram co-workers – Logan Dailey and Austin Short.

I’m thrilled to have been able to see so many games this season, because the 2022-23 winter sports season was one for the ages.

Goshen County had five of its six high school teams reach the state tournament. I can’t remember the last time I covered that many local teams at the state basketball tournament.

The Southeast Lady Cyclones played in their second consecutive state championship game, while the Lingle-Fort Laramie Lady Doggers reached the championship game in their first season in the larger Class 2A division. Both Southeast teams became the first high school teams to play inside the University of Wyoming’s Arena-Auditorium in more than 20 years. The Lingle-Fort Laramie/Southeast wrestling team won two individual state titles with Josie Houk and Kaleb Brothwell.

The list could go on and on.

Let’s not dwell on what photo I used or didn’t use. Let’s not dwell on the adjectives that were used to describe a game – win or loss. Let’s not dwell on what games the Telegram did or did not cover. Let’s not attempt to tear others down over lies and unfounded accusations of favoritism just to make yourself look better in your failures.

Let’s celebrate the kids. Let’s celebrate their accomplishments. They deserve it. They are my why! As a school administrator, as a coach, as a fan, as a parent, as a grandparent, they should too be your why. It’s a shame when egos get in the way of that.

Going back to the original Twitter post, it asked for photo of my why. In this case, it’s going to be photos of my why.