Laclede County Record logo and header

LCR sports editor says goodbye


May 1, 2017.
The day I started a new career path I had dreamed about since I was a kid. Little did 21-year-old Alex know at the time that this job would change my life in more ways than one.
As a writer and in any job, you always want to be yourself, tell your stories the way you want, and do the best job possible.
For the past six years, I can truthfully say that I gave everything I had to the Laclede County Record (and Lebanon Daily Record).
As a 2013 Lebanon High School graduate, I grew up reading the newspaper every morning, heading straight for the sports section to read about games and players. I always thought to myself what the experience would be like to be able to show up to games and tell people about them.
Fast-forwarding to my high school years, I was introduced to the sports editor of the LDR at the time, Israel Potoczny. It didn’t take long for him and me to develop a friendship, and before I knew it, I was covering games in my spare time and helping out where I could.
Over the next few years, I stayed around town and attended college classes at Ozarks Technical Community College. I would go on the Friday night road trips during football season, take pictures at games, interview coaches and players and learn how to write game stories.
In early 2017, Israel approached me about potentially taking over for him as he was pursuing other job opportunities. Honestly, I didn’t need much time to think about the decision.
I still remember showing up to the conference room at the newspaper, signing my contract and owners Matt and Dalton Wright telling me they had all the confidence in the world that I would be great at what I was doing.

I will forever be grateful that someone took that risk on a 21-year-old college student.
The first event I covered as the full-time sports editor was a 7-on-7 football tournament for the Lebanon High School football team in the early summer.
Seems easy enough, right? Not so fast. Gunshots were fired in the parking lot of JFK Stadium in Springfield, and before I knew it, five months after a complete ACL and meniscus repair, I was running across the field to jump a fence.
Coming back into the office to explain to former Editor Fines Massey was a moment I will never forget. It was just one of the talks I will always cherish with Fines, as he helped mold me into a reporter and writer during his time here. 
Along with Fines and others I have mentioned, I want to thank current editor Steve Smith, Shelby Atkison, Beth Chism, Chris Roden, Kirk Pearce, Terra Bernhardt, Shawna Bradley and Jennifer Early. Although some aren’t with the paper anymore, they all positively impacted my time at the paper.
Over the past six years, I have covered hundreds of games and a handful of state championships, driven thousands of miles and written more stories than I want to know.
I accepted a full-time teaching position at Lebanon High School in early May. It has been a goal of mine to get into the world of education and help students accomplish their goals.
As I say goodbye, I can’t help but feel blessed to have had the opportunity to work for a local newspaper. Things weren’t always sunshine and rainbows, but I am grateful for the games I watched and the student-athletes I was able to cover throughout the past six years.
One request I have for the readers is to keep supporting the local paper. You won’t know a good thing until it’s gone, and the people at the office work their tails off to ensure you guys are as happy as possible.