A fond farewell, Atmore

Published 12:01 am Sunday, March 23, 2008

By By Matthew Nascone
This is the last time that I will go Inside the Chalk with what is going on in the world of sports in the Atmore area.
I hate to steal a phrase from an old TV show, but like The Jeffersons I am 'Moving on up to the East Side.' Friday was my last day in Atmore. I will start tomorrow as the sports editor of The Messenger in Troy.
It is with a heavy heart that I move away from the first place I ever covered high school athletics full time. Atmore has been good to me in that it gave me a place to begin my career. And through the two-plus years that I was in this little town, I learned what kinds of questions to ask coaches, when to ask them and how to ask them.
Another huge plus of being in Atmore, is that I met the love of my life in this quaint little town. Adrienne McKenzie became the staff reporter of The Atmore Advance on Jan. 15, 2007 and I said to myself that day that I wanted to go out with her. I didn't know how the interoffice dating would go, but I didn't care.
And here we are 14 months later and we are engaged to be married. She has made me the happiest man on the planet, by far. I will definitely miss her until she joins me in Troy whenever she is ready to move on in her career as well.
In all my adventures in sports reporting, I just hope I have not annoyed anyone around here too much. I know I could be very bothersome when I was looking for how the various teams in the area did on a Friday night, or a Tuesday night.
I know it was hard to talk to me about the huge loss that just happened, but for the most part I was able to get what I needed for the story and not annoy the coaches too much.
Just to let anyone who was wondering know, I was promoted within Boone Newspapers, Inc. to the sports editor position of The Messenger. The huge plus to this job, besides the monetary gain obviously, is that I will be able to cover Troy University.
This gets me on that first rung of the career ladder to where I want to be by the time I retire. I would love to get a college beat writing job and covering Troy, plus four other high schools, is just what I need at this point in my career.
However, this was a hard decision to make because I have formed such great relationships with all the high school coaches here, but it just seemed like if I did not take this opportunity I would not be able to sleep at night. I know that the Advance will be able to find someone who will do a better job than I have for this area.
One of my favorite things that I covered while here in Atmore happened last year. The Cal Ripken Alabama 10 and 12 year olds state tournaments came to Atmore and both those tournaments were a blast to cover.
I just love watching as the youth of Atmore put their hearts into the game and give it their all.
I guess I am about to the end of my space to talk to you, but it has been a good two-plus years Atmore. I could have named off all the people that I will miss, but then I know I would leave someone out.
So I will just say this. To anyone I spoke with during my time here, thank you for whatever you did to help me put out a good story.
Farewell, Atmore.
Matthew Nascone is the sports editor of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123 or online at sports@atmoreadvance.com.