Published 12:00 am Friday, April 29, 2005

Camellia City

It's official sports fans. My tenure here in the Camellia City has come to an abrupt end. By this time next week, I will be sitting at my desk in The Selma Times-Journal office putting the finishing touches on "It's that Simple" and listening to the Alabama River roll by. But when it comes to writing this column, the infamous "farewell column," I can truthfully say that I have no idea what to write.

In pondering what to write, I wondered how I could bring about that "feel-good sentiment" even though I was a short-timer in the Camellia City.

But I feel good about my time here and where I am going.

During my stay in Greenville I have had the opportunity to develop positive relationships with coaches, players and parents through my many trips to various sporting events.

I hope some of these relationships will continue despite my change in venue.

For six months now I have been able to recognize a team by the color they wear. The black and gold of Greenville, the red and blue of Fort Dale, Georgina's blue and McKenzie's Yellow that matches my the color of my sunglasses.

But, in a few short days, I have to learn a whole new set of team colors and their mascots. I go from writing about Eagles, Panthers and Tigers to covering Senators (Morgan), Saints (Selma High) and Bears (Keith High).

Another thing that's going to be an adjustment are the faces that I've grown accustomed to seeing at different places.

I could not have asked for a better starting point for my journalistic career. Since I have been here I have had the opportunity to do things that, under normal circumstances, I would not have been able to do.

I flew in a Volkswagon Beetle with wings that was flown by our own staff writer, Angie Long.

Following Hurricane Ivan I flew in a helicopter with officials from the Army Corp of Engineers.

Prior to that flight I rode out a hurricane and lived to cover it.

I had the opportunity to promote and attend my first-ever lawnmower race, and probably one of the coolest and most exciting things I had the opportunity to do was ride along with the members of the Second Judicial Drug Taskforce as they busted some thugs with drugs.

There are also things I'm going to miss about this town, like the revival of Greenville Tigers football, when Alvin Briggs and his pack of hungry Tigers turn the field at their stadium into their own personal Serrengeti pouncing on anyone in an opposite colored jersey.

I'm also going to miss seeing Fort Dale's new Playstation-esque offense that Speed Sampley has drawn up. After describing it to me, I'd hate to have to script a defense to stop it.

I will also get to miss the Greenville High softball team's state tournament run despite having a double handful of early season losses or seeing Fort Dale softball continue to set the bar higher by winning several games to end the season.

I hate that I'm not going to get to see Georigana's Zane Stackhouse win 2A Running back of the Year or see McKenzie football become one of the top powerhouse teams in 1A football.

But, that's what life is about: change.

While I don't want to miss these things, in order for me to achieve my goals in this sometimes-frustrating profession, I have to.

To all the people that have been a part of my life since I have been here, I appreciate it very much and I will miss each and every one of you dearly.

For the last time Greenville; it's that simple.

Griffin Pritchard is the new sports editor of the Selma Times-Journal. His email will be