Making a move | Column

Kevin Endejan - File photo
Kevin Endejan
— image credit: File photo

Let me start by saying thank you for your support over the last four-plus years.

As the lone remaining original member of the Issaquah & Sammamish Reporter staff, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed covering sports in these two communities.

No, I’m not leaving  —  just making a slight move.

At the start of the New Year, my coverage will shift to community news, business, schools, with some assistant editorial responsibilities sprinkled in.

Sports will be left in good hands with Bellevue Reporter writer Josh Suman, who adds Issaquah and Sammamish to his plate. Josh spent time with Sammamish Patch and already has familiarity with many area teams.

As someone who has done this job in other regions around the state, I can safely say, the quality of high-school athletics doesn’t get any better than Issaquah and Sammamish.

In four years and an extra fall season, I covered an astounding 17 team state championships in WIAA sanctioned sports between four schools  —  Eastlake, Eastside Catholic, Issaquah and Skyline. That doesn’t reflect countless teams to finish as runner-up in state championships, numerous individual state titles, or an additional three state crowns in non-sanctioned lacrosse.

It’s simply remarkable to think about how much athletic talent is in the area.

Of course, with all that success comes great stories  —  several of which helped me win awards, including a Suburban Newspaper of America honor for “Best Sports Writing” and the Washington Newspaper Publisher’s Association award for “Sportswriter of the Year.”

Without the material, those plaques wouldn’t be sitting on my desk right now.

More than anything, I’m thankful for the memories.

Who can forget Skyline coming back from a 21-point deficit in the second half to beat O’Dea 42-35 in the 2007 state football championship?

Then, there was Eastlake’s remarkable upset over nationally ranked Shadle Park to win the 2008 state softball championship.

And there’s so many stories of individual triumph, like Issaquah’s Selena Lustig battling through a life-threatening heart condition to become one of her school’s top tennis players.

The job also opened up several other unique doors.

I got the chance to enter the New York Yankees’ locker room when Issaquah grad Colin Curtis got called up to the big show, stand shoulder-to-shoulder with actor Will Smith when his son competed against Skyline, and played a round of golf at Sahalee Country Club before the U.S. Senior Open.

Add countless other memories, all the great coaches, athletes and readers I’ve met along the way, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience the last four years.

Thanks again, to everyone.

Until next time, see you in the news section.


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