Tonight is a sad day on the High School Sports front for two reasons and the reasons are important enough to seperate the two stories out. With that said I want to turn the attention first to Chuck McGill at the Northern Virginian Daily.
Chuck and a few of his (and his wife Luaren) closest friends will gather in Winchester to say their farewells before Chuck heads back to Charleston, West Virginia to continue his writing career at the Charleston Daily Mail. Chuck’s new duties will be to cover the Thundering Herd of Marshall but we want to look back at the two plus years he gave to the Valley and the High School athletes that played there.
Chuck took over as the Sports Editor’s desk after Mike Petry headed to Tidewater and it was his ability to never lose site of the difference in right and wrong that made his efforts so special. It is not an easy task to spread coverage over Warren County, Shenandoah County, Fredrick County and Clarke County with a limited staff and even more limited resources. The fact that Chuck was able to pull this off on a regular basis during the regular season in Sports was never lost on me but what made the effort even more special was the ability to get up for the Big Game nights.
Our similarities are to high to count or list but it would easy for me to state that when the challenge was the greatest is when Chuck McGill was at his best. Toss Chuck a night where he needed to be in nine or ten places at the same and he couldn’t wait to get started with the planning stage. The bigger the hill in front of him, the faster he would climb said hill. Add in the heart and soul that Chuck would add to his own stories when he stepped from behind the desk and you have the makings of a special person giving his best in a profession that is dying in front of our very eyes.
Yes, someone new will step in to the posistion and the NVD Sports section will continue as we know it but we can only hope that the next person to where the Editor’s Cap will remember the very thing that Chuck stood for. It is always okay to look ahead to the next stop on the ladder as long as you are respecting they place you are currently calling home.
The Northern Shenandoah Valley will miss Chuck Mcgill when he actually departs at the end of the month. We will miss his personal touch he gave his stories and the ability to use the Golden Rule of Life as his measuring stick when he came to a Cross Roads on a story or his Sports section.
Tonight at Union Jack’s Pub will be a chance to tip the glass to someone that brought pride and integrity to his position and to his field as Sports Editor. Thanks Chuck – for your time and more importantly- Thanks for caring!
The second person leaving the area at the end of the month is Mr. Jim Sacco at the News Virginian but that is a seperate story in itself which will come next.