Opinion-Editorial

Fifty first names only

The high school fall sports season is a personal favorite, with games played against a backdrop of changing leaves and crisp autumn air. Indoor events have their own special feel, too, and a cozy gym can provide warmth and safety from the elements. 

Thurston High School opened its football season the first week of September with a home game against one of the stronger teams in the state, the Wilsonville Wildcats. Thurston had eliminated Wilsonville in last year’s state semifinals, so anticipation was high on both sides. The Chronicle scheduled a reporter and photographer to cover the game, and we all sat next to Rene, a well-respected reporter for the high school sports website Scorebook Live, who mentioned that Thurston had one of the nicest natural-grass fields in its class, statewide. 

The “press box” area for this game was along the top row of the stands, between the coaches’ box and Colts’ band. 

Before the game, I spoke with Knight for quite a while. He handles the radio and public announcing duties for the Colts, and has his hands in all kinds of local sports production. John, who tracks the Colts’ statistics, was eager to chat about his role and how he could support The Chronicle. We talked “shop” for a bit regarding data collection and the importance of accurate stats. Cammy was among the people working the ticket booth – dispensing wit and wisdom from inside her booth. Jeremy was running the shaved ice truck, and the Colts were trailing by a wide margin when I visited early in the third quarter. He was confident Thurston would rally. 

Brenda, Heather, Tim, and Travis were other folks I met during the game, people either helping run the operation or assistant coaches. The number of volunteers and staffers putting in extra hours around extracurricular events should never be taken for granted. It’s truly a labor of love as much as anything.

A few business-related initiatives have brought me into contact with several new people. Christine and Debbie are with Adams Publishing Group, our new printers. My wife and I met Dave, who delivers the papers each week to our Springfield storage unit. We’ve installed a new phone system, and received terrific support from Travis and Casey. Derrick was the on-site installer, and was quite patient while training all of us. 

I enjoyed a breakfast meeting with Greg, and heard about his upcoming plans at the Wildish Theater. Also along Main Street in downtown Springfield, I ran into and chatted with Alex, Dustin, Devra (aka Devi), and Jennifer at their various places of business. And we spoke with Matt, our server at a downtown restaurant. 

We had the privilege of playing host to a particularly distinguished guest in our newsroom this month. Stephanie, the new president at Lane Community College, met with us to discuss her plans, especially around education-business initiatives across the southern Willamette Valley.

Wayne stopped by the newsroom to renew his subscription and let us know he and his mother appreciate paper. 

We met Adriana (aka Addi), Morgan, and Gina – all working hard at Gryff’s on the corner of A St. and 8th. It’s been a while since we visited Chelsea; her expanded wellness center and stable of healthcare professionals remains “best in class.” 

The recent Springfield Block Party was a big success by any measure. Just a terrific job by Benjamin and his team. Plenty of foot traffic on the side streets in the Historic Downtown area, and the music, games, and promotions kept people busy and entertained. Stopping by The Chronicle’s tent and table were a mix of partiers and extended family. Sarah, a new writer, hung out for a while, and we met our summer intern’s parents, Shad and Rebecca, and her younger sister Jovie

Tristan was a volunteer crossing guard who might have been working harder than anyone else, guiding groups back-and-forth across a busy, but slow-moving, Main St. Kathy, Jonathan, Derek, and John also stopped to discuss local news and sports. 

I also had several exchanges online with Darwin, a Pleasant Hill coach and booster. He’s been helpful providing photos and information about the Billies this year.

A few more names from the unified Eugene/Springfield Chambers of Commerce golf tournament last month … so nice meeting Janelle, Jordan, Michael, Allan, Colleen, Carlie, Lori, Kelsea, Tab, Kathy, Kimmy, and Chad.

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