Opinion

Goodbye and good luck, Bremerton

DOWN TO THE WIRE

After four long years, the time has finally come.

After serving the Bremerton and Central Kitsap communities since September 2004, I’ll be heading south for Olympia, taking on a new position at South Puget Sound Community College.

Now I’ve never been one to enjoy writing about myself (hence the degree that allows me to solely write about others). So I’ll keep that part brief: Thanks for all the memories Bremerton. I’ve learned a lot as the sports editor of the Bremerton Patriot.

When I first arrived here, I had no idea about the community itself, much less its sports teams. But every coach, athlete, student, parent, ref, administrator, reader and other I had the pleasure of dealing with here met me with open arms, allowing me to build and develop meaningful relationships with those trying to resurrect the greater Bremerton sports scene. I’ve changed a lot since I began here, and each of you are a big reason why.

So that’s enough talking about me. I want to talk about you.

As the Bremerton Patriot sports editor, I’ve had a unique vantage point in the front seat of the Bremerton sports scene. So please, let me offer some observations and words of advice to those of you working so hard to keep that very scene alive.

True, Bremerton High School has struggled in my time here in most major sports. That’s led everyone to write off BHS athletics before they ever take to the field, court, gym, pool, alley or whatever else.

Don’t be one of the people who make that mistake.

Sure, the football team is still trying to right a ship that went astray long before I arrived, but don’t forget about the state champion girls bowling team, or the individual efforts of athletes like Nathan Adrian, Billy Richardson and Jacki Hill, each of whom excelled while wearing blue and gold.

Also, don’t rely on the “woe-is-me” attitude. Feeling sorry for yourselves will get you nowhere on the field or off it. Don’t like the way your sophomore season went? Work your butt off, get everyone you know to work their butts off and come back ready to make the next year that much better.

Don’t listen to all the haters. People will tell you you suck based on past failures. They don’t know who you are, where you come from or what’s about to happen to them for overlooking you yet again.

Remember there is life after high school. Sure, everyone wants to see their football team win eight or more games and make it to state. But you know what? In 10 years, you’ll all remember the same thing, winners and losers alike: The experience.

When I played baseball as a freshman for Capital, our varsity team finished third in the state. We had a good ‘C’ team as a result. But today, I couldn’t tell you how many games we won or lost, what my batting average was, or who led our team in any category. But I remember every bus ride, most of the jokes, particularly funny or trying moments and my coaches and teammates. Unless you are actually going to become a pro, then this is what you’ll want to remember more than anything else.

So hang in there Bremerton! Better times are ahead as long as you’re willing to work and make the effort. After all, that’s all anything in life takes.

Before I go, don’t think I forgot about you King’s West. Thank you too for all the wonderful memories.

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