I moved to International Falls in the November of 2017, travelling over 1,000 miles from my home of West Virginia to take a job as the sports writer for a small town newspaper.
Even after accepting the job and getting moved in, I was still a bit uncertain. Having come from a small town myself, I knew how tightknit such a community is, and I wasn't sure if the people here would be as accepting of an outsider such as myself.
As I started covering Borderland sports with a Bronco boys' hockey game against Lake of the Woods, I was happy to be proven wrong.
Borderland residents didn't hesitate to welcome me and over the past three and a half years I have come to think of International Falls as a second home.
However, all good things must come to an end.
With the Journal closing, I am taking the opportunity to move back home to West Virginia, in hopes that I will find a job a bit closer to my family than northern Minnesota.
I am still unsure what is next in my life. Maybe I will pursue another journalism job or perhaps I will start up a new career elsewhere.
To past and present Broncos, Vikings, Trojans and Voyageurs: Thank you for allowing me to cover your games and achievements. Even though I will be gone I will still be following how you all do in future games and meets.
To future Borderland athletes: I am sorry I will no longer be around for your own time in the sun, but I know you will continue to make your parents and community proud.
To the communities of International Falls, Littlefork, Indus and Birchdale: Thank you for accepting this transplanted West Virginian into your community. I hope to return someday because... you can't beat those Borderland summers!