News that the Rocky Mountain News will publish its last edition today after almost 150 years of service to Denver was received with sadness across the country in every newsroom. The newspaper industry is going through tumultuous times, no doubt. Can you imagine if there was no more Star-News? I’ve been a journalist for eight years. I love my job and I can’t imagine what it would be like to one day wake up and find myself without my dream job. Everyday I’m ever more so thankful for doing what I love most, but I am sad for my colleagues at The Rocky who find themselves at a deep loss. May they all find solace soon.
CLICK THREAD TO READ WHAT THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS PREPS SPORTSWRITER AND PREPS EDITOR WROTE IN THEIR FINAL BLOG ENTRY.
Scott Stocker, Rocky Mountain News preps sportswriter:
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been writing high school sports for 38 years, the last 25 with the Rocky, and this portion of my life is changing. It seems like it was just yesterday that I began my career in journalism with my high school sports newspaper, Colorado Sidelines, which began one week after I was discharged from the Army.
I want to sincerely thank all the folks at the Colorado High School Activities Association for their support over the years, as well as the Colorado High School Coaches Association, the Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports, Sportswomen of Colorado and the men and women at the Rocky, who have helped high school sports grow in our state. And, especially to our prep editor here at the Rocky, Gerry Valerio, who has put up with my verbosity and length of my stories.
Of course, where would I have been without the support of the state’s high schools, their athletic directors, coaches and teachers, and, of course, to my wife of 40 years, Nancy, who put up with my late nights and weekends because of my love for sports.
A friend asked me several years ago why I did not choose to cover college or professional sports on a permanent basis. When one thinks about it, I have.
There have been many high school athletes, men and women, who have gone on to excel in the college and professional ranks from Colorado. I am more than pleased and honored that for many, I was the first to write about their accomplishments as high school athletes. And, I’m pleased to have heard from many after they had finished their college careers or were playing in the professional ranks.
I have some great memories of individuals, coaches and teams, too numerous to mention. However, there are two who are very special to me.
Dave Logan, who graduated from Wheat Ridge and the University of Colorado and is now the voice of the Denver Broncos, was on the very first cover of my Colorado Sidelines. He also told me when he started coaching at Arvada West that people told him he would only be in it for a year or two.
Dave told me, “Scott, I’m in this for the long run. High School sports have always meant so much to me as well as the support of my parents when I played. I’m in this for the long run.”
And, indeed Logan has been. He was, by the way, the winner of the first Fred Steinmark High School Athlete of the Year Award.
I also remember telling Cherry Creek’s Amy Van Dyken, when she was a freshman swimming for the Bruins, that she was going to win a gold medal in the Olympics. After she did, she signed a Wheaties cereal box on which she appeared and gave it to me. That box, sits on my book shelf at home.
With that, I want to wish all the athletes, coaches, cheerleaders, bands, teachers and parents all the best in their future endeavors. And, somewhere along the line, I hope I have the pleasure of covering the high schools once again.
Gerry Valerio, Rocky Mountain News preps sports editor:
High school sports definitely are a labor of love for all involved. For the athletes, coaches, administrators, parents and classmates (and, yes, journalists) they entail a shared passion for sport, team, school and community.
Simply, that was the essence of Rocky Preps – providing a snapshot of those special moments and efforts in the lives of student-athletes around the state. And we couldn’t have enjoyed it more.
For 20 years, it has been my pleasure to focus on high school sports, and it seems odd that Rocky Preps no longer will be around when attention to the prep game never has been higher.
Thank you to all of the student-athletes, coaches, administrators and, of course, our readers for your interest in high school sports. We hope you will miss us as much as we will miss you.