• 70°

Messenger sports reporter not going far

What is the value of experience?

In my own personal opinion experience is everything. To some who run the athletic department at Auburn University experience may not mean so much.

Let’s step back into the real world for a moment, and it becomes very clear that no matter what you do experience is necessary.

My experience here at The Messenger has opened new doors for me.

Doors that open with an experience key only.

I recently accepted a position with the sports information staff at Troy University, and this is my farewell to you.

The memories I have of this place and the people I have been around will last forever.

It has been an experience gaining some experience.

I have only been around for two years, but it has been two years full of stories.

Charles Henderson and Pike County both made undefeated runs in my first football season, and it was a remarkable thing to see.

Troy University has now won three straight Sun Belt titles.

‘Bama is finally back.

Tommy Tuberville is out. Gene Chizik is in.

This business is unpredictable.

Everyday at work is an adventure because things happen constantly.

I honestly never expected in my time here to see another man coach the Pike County Bulldogs, but the world kept on turning and change kept on happening.

I have met many people and seen many things that wouldn’t have happened without this experience.

I have walked the sidelines at Movie Gallery, Jordan-Hare, Death Valley, Bryant-Denney and Sanford stadiums.

I have walked the sidelines at many high schools.

I have frozen at all. I have sweated at all.

I loved it all.

Most importantly, I cherished every minute of it all.

The priceless smiles are my favorite…but the tears and heartache not so much.

But the certainty is that it’s all going in the paper the next day like it or not.

Win, lose or draw there was always a paper to that needed to be put out that next day.

I love sports, and I am thankful for this opportunity.

This experience has been a great experience.

My special thanks goes out to every coach, every player, every parent and every fan.

Without great people to cover, this experience would not have been what it was.

Thanks to The Messenger staff for the opportunity.

I’m looking forward to making a career out in the sports world, and now it’s time for step two.

Farewell & God bless.

This is Ben Stanfield’s last column as an employee of The Messenger.