Best in the Field: Time to go back to work in 2022

BUCKHANNON – Rapper Macklemore has a song out called “Next Year.”

One of the lines in the song is “Next Year’s Gonna Be Better Than This Year.”

Well, Macklemore clearly didn’t have me in mind when he wrote that song. To say 2022 has been downright dreadful for me may be the understatement of the year.

It started with a couple of days left in 2021 on December 30 when I returned home from the Parkersburg-Buckhannon-Upshur boys’ basketball game and discovered that I had two massive blisters on two toes on my left foot. Being a diabetic, it was alarming and three weeks later it is something I am still dealing with.

But the real gut punch came on Jan. 4 when I became a statistic in one of Brian Bergstrom’s COVID-19 articles.

I took a home test on that Monday right before I was heading up to the B-U-Hampshire boys’ basketball game and it came back positive after developing a sore throat and dealing with some congestive issues.

Then I went to the local hospital for a more dependable test and it came back positive as well that Wednesday.

I have lost friends and family members to COVID-19, so trust me when I say I am beyond thankful that it was only a ‘mild’ case. From my understanding, each strain has affected different people in different ways.

For me, it was like having the worst cold you could ever imagine, but what really affected me the most was how lethargic and overwhelmingly fatigued it made me. I was told to get up and walk around so the congestion didn’t have time to settle in my lungs, but a simple stroll around the house during my quarantine would all but wipe me out, leaving me in a slightly dazed and confused state, so to speak.

I notified the winter coaches I am in contact with, told a few family members and friends but pretty much kept the information to myself, not putting it out there for public consumption.

What bothered me the most, though, was seeing my work suffer here at My Buckhannon. Not being able to attend the games left my articles without full stats or in-person quotes. Stories were simplistic or simply couldn’t get finished in a timely fashion and it just sort of snowballed from week one to week two of my quarantine.

While I know not every story is perfect, I do take great pride in my work and it was disappointing to see what I was putting out, if the stories even saw the light of day. That said, I want to apologize for the local sports coverage over the last two weeks. The readers of My Buckhannon deserved better in their sports coverage and for that, I do apologize.

We had just started two new features here – Hank Ellis All-Stars and Raising the Jolly Roger With… – and this illness just seemed to derail all the momentum I had built up since coming on board in September.

While the foot issues persist, I feel that the worst of the COVID-19 is now behind me.

I was ready to ‘go back to work’ Tuesday going to Fairmont to cover the East Fairmont-Buckhannon-Upshur girls’ basketball game only to find out that the snowstorm we are experiencing wiped out that contest. Then Wednesday’s game with the boys battling East Fairmont was canceled too. I will try again Thursday with the girls’ home game with Robert C. Byrd.

So again, my apologies for the lack of quality sports coverage the last two weeks and as soon as the weather breaks, it will be awesome to say “Game On” once again and provide our readers with the BEST local sports coverage in the area.

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