Back on December 21 I attended the remembrance service for my wife's college friend, Cody Ponder. Everything I heard that day about Cody reflected a person who enriched all who came in touch with him.
Back on December 21 I attended the remembrance service for my wife's college friend, Cody Ponder. Everything I heard that day about Cody reflected a person who enriched all who came in touch with him. While my memories of Cody and his wife, Johnnie-Margaret, are few, they're colorful. I remember the first time I met the two of them at an OU basketball game back in the fall of 2011. The two of them along with my wife, Shaye, shared a couple laughs and welcomed me into their conversation. However, the brief talk (which happened during a break in the action) went on too long for a fellow fan because Cody and Johnnie-Margaret were blocking his view of the cheerleaders. That kind of stuff from fans annoys me. I realize we all complain at one point or another but I would hope it be over something worth groaning about. For the past couple of weeks, you may have noticed the change of name by the title sports editor in the pages of the News-Star. Guess that's the long way of saying, I'm the new sport editor and resident handler of complaints. I added that last part for a reason. It is now part of my job to listen to you, the readers and fans, out there in the tri-county area and beyond. To those of you who I already visited with and to those who have yet to speak up, I say that I've heard your concerns and intend to address them. Since assuming this role, people have overwhelmingly been asking for more local sports coverage. I will admit that my initial answers may not have been the best and in fact may have sounded like excuses. This became evident to me this afternoon while speaking with a local parent, who is involved in athletics at her child's school. They will remain unnamed. However, the discussion helped me better understand their concerns and think of ways to improve this sports section. Rather than focus on the limitations I face (being a one-person sports department, having one staff photographer for the whole newspaper, etc.), I've decided to buck up and kick tail. I realize that my industry has shrunk since I finished college a little over five years ago, but I refuse to go quietly or simply exist. Don't get me wrong. I know it will not be easy and there will be times that people like you will be annoyed with me. But with that in mind, I will do my best to have this section be as tri-county centric as possible. The changes may come slow, but I am working very hard on your behalf. I just ask for your patience and support in this transition. In the meantime, I leave you with some of the words Cody would say as shared by Johnnie-Margaret on that wintry day: every day in life is a new adventure.