Hello again. And for the first time.
My name is Jason Glenn and we’ve met before…or not…or maybe you’ve just seen me lurking on the sidelines with a camera around my neck, chatting up Matt and/or Andrew in the midst of a Corner Conference competition between one of the four teams I covered for the Shenandoah newspaper and your favored squad, new friend.
Whatever the case, here I am. It’s been roughly a month-and-a-half since my last official day on a job that started almost exactly four years earlier. In the time between those dates, I was privileged to witness and report on a full freshman-to-senior cycle of fantastic athletes from Essex, Fremont-Mills, Nishnabotna and Sidney.
Naturally, I got to see a whole bunch of talented young players from all the other conference schools as well, but I have to admit my editorial bias swung heavily toward the kids I followed most closely. I saw their struggles, sacrifices, efforts and achievements from preseason through the state plateau and got to know many of them on a personal level, learning in the process what fine, funny, smart and decent young folks arise and emerge from the southwestern-most counties of our fair state.
I should also fully disclose that I am now a parent of two Sidney students, with another fixing to join the future Cowboy and Cowgirl ranks in the coming year. Sam, my oldest, is a six-year-old in kindergarten while his younger sister, Katie, is in the school’s excellent four-year-old preschool program. Jojo, the youngest of my and my wife Molly’s brood, will join the three-year-old preschool roster in August 2016, rounding out our contribution to Cowpoke and Corner Conference rolls of the next dozen or so years.
A conflict of interest was the cause for my self-termination at the paper, but it wasn’t due to any supposed or overt prejudice toward the District we call home. I like to think I’ve maintained a fair balance of local boosterism and professional objectivity over the last four years and gaining a few new red t-shirts in my closet doesn’t endanger that. The conflict was one of time. With only 24 hours in a day and my own kids becoming full-time students with evening extra-curriculars in the offing, spending three or four nights a week at an area athletic contest – as much as I have come to love it – simply didn’t leave enough time for me to adequately perform Job No. 1 at home.
In addition to covering local teams for far longer than I have, Matt has been tackling the boots-on-the-ground dad task for a decade beyond my current tenure. As we’ve become friends, starting as co-workers at the paper where he was an invaluable mentor on the local sports scene and through his tireless development of this website, I’ve seen him balance a dedication to his family with one to the student-athletes of the Corner Conference and their families. When we started talking about me joining him and Andrew at SWISportsCorner.com a couple weeks before I left the paper, he understood my dilemma between continuing to do the thing I’d grown to love and being there for the people I love as they grow.
So now here I am, trying to contribute something new to this great local sports info and entertainment source. As we figure out precisely what that is – getting out to a game a week for coverage, some columns here and there, action video highlights and perhaps a little show featuring Matt and yours truly – I’m sure some of it will seem familiar to those of you who know me. But I’m hoping, for those of you who don’t as well as for myself, there is exciting, uncharted water ahead and new adventures abound…