Will Backus

Don’t you cry. You shouldn’t shed a tear because I won’t be one of the sports editors at the Daily Beacon next year. Sure, it’s sad, but it’s no reason to cry.

The sports section will be in good hands. Besides, I’m not entirely leaving. I’ll be returning as a staff writer next year. I just have to do a farewell column because I failed to take another story for our final special issue.

That’s pretty on-brand.

I’m not one to be sentimental; just ask any of my peers. But in all seriousness, I could not be more thankful for all the Beacon has done for me. Not only have I gotten to live out my dream of watching sports for a living, I have met some awesome people that I hope to never lose touch with.

Since starting as a wide-eyed, bushy-tailed contributor in the fall of 2017, I have learned so much about the field of journalism under the tutelage of some mentors that I’m happy to call friends.

I went to a tennis match of my own volition for the first time ever. I gained a new appreciation for soccer. I got to cover a Tennessee coaching search, which is always fun. I got to cover the first season of a new head football coach.

For the past two years, I’ve had the ability to cover the Lady Vols. Travelling to the SEC Championships in Nashville and Greenville for that sport have been personal highlights.

The Beacon has opened up new pathways for me. Plus, it’s taught me more about journalism than any class I have taken.

It has afforded me so much. It truly feels like I’ve been living out a dream these past couple of years — and it isn’t over yet.

Though I won’t be around the office as much anymore, and some would argue I was never there much in the first place, and though I won’t assist in running the day-to-day operations anymore, I’ll still be around.

This journey is far from over, and I couldn’t be more happy that I’ll be back. I get to continue doing what I love for a living, and I get to continue forming those relationships with the awesome people I have met.

So yes, this is a goodbye. I’m saying goodbye to an editorial post at the Beacon.

But it’s also the start of something (not entirely) new. The master is becoming the apprentice once more. Therefore, don’t fret- you’re stuck with my byline in the Daily Beacon for at least another year.

And all the people rejoiced.

So, as my personal hero, the late, great Stan Lee would say, “Excelsior!”

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