For years, I drove past Paducah on my way to and from school at the University of Missouri to my home in east Tennessee. About the only things I can remember are stopping at the Whitehaven Welcome Center and seeing the Shawnee College Metro Center.
I'm glad to have spent a longer time in Paducah, but it's come to an end. My last day is Sunday before I leave to cover Texas Tech recruiting for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
When I started in December, I remember driving to my first assignment: a basketball tournament at Paducah Tilghman. I needed my iPhone's GPS to get there from the Sun's office downtown.
As you can tell, I'm not the greatest with navigation.
The first person I met that night was Dwayne Wall. If he wasn't enough for me to know the people I'd be working with would be great, I learned that when I met Ed Taylor. When he learned I was from Tennessee, he promised to wear his orange jacket the next time we saw each other.
Since then, I've found my way to many games, practices and press conferences without needing a GPS. It's been a tremendous experience covering so many great games and athletes.
And there's a lot I'll miss.
First, the athletes, coaches and athletic directors. They've been a pleasure to work with and helped me tell the many stories this area had to offer.
Second, my colleagues - Jon Futrell, James Horne and Bobby Mayberry - and the people I worked against. Ricky Martin is one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet, and Ed Marlowe is right behind. There are also too many folks to name at WPSD, at the other papers and who do radio broadcasts.
And lastly, the finish of so many great stories. How will the final two seasons of Zyaire Hughes' and Dee Cain's high school careers go? What will it be like when Carson Chapman fully recovers from cancer and returns to sports? Will the Marshall County girls basketball team win a fourth consecutive First Region title?
The next person will get to write those stories. I hope you'll enjoy him and them.
Thanks for reading.
You can reach Daniel on Twitter at @DanielPaulling or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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