As we begin to transition into winter sports season, a word of thanks to the following:
--High School Directors of Student Activities: Their amazing, never-ending work keeps the athletic and activity engines rolling at their facilities. They don't make enough, either. :)
--High School Coaches/Staffs: Speaking of not making enough!! Thank you for your hard work on the sidelines, but, more importantly, for the investments you make in the lives of our next generation!
--High School Student-Athletes: Thank you for seizing the opportunity to participate in either athletics or activities. Trust me, years from now, you'll be glad you did. It is our honor and privilege to cover your adventures! I never imagined over ten years ago when we began covering all high school sports, not just football, and I certainly never dreamed in 2002 when this journey began broadcasting Patrick Henry High School football that we would have all the opportunities we've had, meeting so many incredible people along the way. And now, I can't wait for all the opportunities to come!
--Everyone at Randolph-Macon College: In early 2018, when we lost The Herald-Progress due to a shortsighted owner, I truly wondered how our work would continue. Just a few months later, the good Lord opened an amazing door as I began an incredible journey with not just Yellow Jacket football, but also with men's and women's lacrosse, field hockey, as well as men's and women's soccer. I cherish every moment I put on the headset for any Randolph-Macon College team, and sincerely thank President Robert Lindgren, Athletic Director Jeff Burns, Director of Athletic Communications Phil Stanton, "The Voice of The Yellow Jackets" Marty Wilson, Bryan Diehr, football head coach Pedro Arruza, and every other head coach on that campus for entrusting us to tell your stories, to chronicle your teams' successes and challenges, and celebrate them as we should. Remember, Division III student-athletes do it for the love of the game, and the opportunities they afford. The "NIL Land of Milk and Honey" doesn't flow that far down. To get to know these young men and women, their families, it is truly an honor I deeply appreciate and do not deserve.
--MY FAMILY: My wife is a saint, and the unsung champion of the RVA Sports Network. Her ability to enjoy evenings at home while I'm at football, field hockey, basketball, wrestling, softball, lacrosse, you name it, is critical to our success. When my son is able to work with us, he's a treasure! And I'm forever thankful for my daughter, her great photography work, and her willingness to hang out with her Dad after spending a full day with a classroom filled with five year-olds... :)
May you take a few moments this weekend, between turkey and football, to take stock of what you are thankful for, and then, make sure you tell your loved ones, and friends, how you feel. We never know how many more chances we'll have to do so.
With Eternal Gratitude,
Rob Witham :)