Daniel Mayes, Editor-in-Chief
Well, here we are.
The best and fastest four years of my life is coming to a close.
I’ve been dreading writing this almost as much as I have graduating and leaving. Even now, I’m sitting here struggling to come up with adequate words to describe what Jacksonville, Jacksonville State University, and The Chanticleer have meant to me over these years, and how much I’ll miss them.
Here’s what I got:
Jacksonville gave me a home. It really is true what they say about Jacksonville, Alabama. You don’t know how to describe it or to explain it, but it’s home. Four years has seen me fall in love with a town, get emotionally ripped to shreds as I watched it get demolished by a tornado, and feel myself get stitched back together as the town itself was.
Jacksonville State University gave me a family. Aside from the education I’ve received here, the most important thing I think JSU has brought me is the people it’s introduced into my life. From all the friends I have made, to connections with professors I’ve established, and an introduction to someone I plan on making a part of my life for a long, long time. The Friendliest Campus in the south is such an accurate description of Jacksonville State.
The Chanticleer gave me a path. From starting out as a volunteer staff sports writer to being in charge (for better or worse) of the whole thing, my time working on The Chanticleer has taken someone with no real guidance on what they wanted to do with their life other than a love of sports and turned him into someone with slightly more guidance on what they want to do with their life other than a love of sports (just kidding). My experiences here have inspired me to walk headfirst into a declining and evolving industry with the resolve of I’m going to make it or go broke trying. Experiences like getting to cover an actual real-life March Madness game for Jacksonville State in 2017 have made me realize that this whole sports journalism thing is something I’m just meant to do. I hope I’ve helped to lead The Chanticleer in the right direction in my short time involved
To anyone who’s gotten any information or enjoyment out of anything I’ve written, said, or tweeted about Jacksonville or Jacksonville State sports over the past few years, thanks for letting me do what I love for the place I love. I hope I’ve been worthy of the level of coverage the outstanding community of Jacksonville State deserves. It’s been a pleasure to do what I could to serve what really makes this place special: its people.
Thank you, Jacksonville, and goodbye.
(For now at least)