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There's a progression to everythingPosted Wednesday, October 14, 2009, at 8:02 PM
As most folks know by now, yours truly has taken on the task of filling the void left by Travis David who departed to take his career to the next level.
As I enter my second month of duty with the Greene County Daily World, I realize there's an order of ascension and recognition that comes along with being the new guy on the block.
First there's the "Who are you?" stage. I'm sure you're all familiar with that one. It's the segment of your work life when you walk into the office or the workplace and nobody has a clue who you are, what you're doing there and more importantly, why you're there.
That came in my first foray into the Greene County sports scene when the sports editor, my old friend B.J. Hargis sent me to cover the Linton-Stockton Lady Miners volleyball team.
Coach Jill Fougerousse had no idea who I was when I approached her before the match. As I recall it amounted to something like "coach, I'm Rick Curl the new guy at the paper."
Then she responded with the typical, "Nice to meet you" with a puzzled look on her face. A look that said "OK."
Fast forward to my next assignment -- Bloomfield tennis. That's when -- thanks in part to an e-mail introduction to coach Mike Canty from B.J. -- my progression up the ladder was at the "Oh you're the guy that replaced Travis," step.
It's certainly much better being the guy who replaced somebody than the guy that someone looks at like they just stepped off a flying saucer.
Mike was very receptive to me when I introduced myself to him. At the same moment I quickly learned of his sense of humor.
He looked at Linton-Stockton boys tennis coach Brad McKinney and said "That's the guy who replaced Travis, so I guess I'll throw him out of here."
After we shared a laugh I realized I had begun inching my way through the heart of the stage and was well on my way to the final stage -- being recognized for prior work.
That came at the first Linton-Stockton football game I covered, which happened to be one of the many long road trips that have fallen my way in my inaugural month here.
I was patrolling the sidelines at Springs Valley High School as the Miners were preparing for a battle with the Blackhawks when a familiar face approached me.
It was Linton-Stockton boys basketball coach Darren Clayton.
Coach Clayton and I have crossed paths many times in the last four years when I was the sports editor at a neighboring publication.
We had always been respectful of each other and had what I perceived to be a solid mutual respect.
But that night, I knew I was no longer one of the new guys or the guy that replaced Travis.
"I hear you've joined our team," Darren said extending his hand from the football stat sheet and clipboard he was carrying. "Welcome aboard."
It's nice to be a part of something, even if it takes a little while.
Just as an addendum to this column let me tell you about how the new guy gets to travel to places like Springs Valley, Lynnville and Paoli in his first month.
Maybe next time...
Rick Curl is a sports writer at the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487, ext. 20 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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