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Eric Morken: Goodbye and thank you

Many people to thank as I make a career move after 15 years with the Echo Press.

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Eric Morken
Bruce Brierley
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ALEXANDRIA — It was early this past summer when a call came through as I was looking over aerial maps on my onX Hunt App while sitting on our deck waiting for the grill to heat before supper.

This is pretty typical of how I spend a few extra minutes in between tasks — doing something related to bowhunting whitetails.

Archery is not a hobby for me. It is something that consumes my mind almost every day. Whether it’s scouting, planning trips with family and friends, shooting in the backyard or spending days in the woods, it always gives me something to do or look forward to.

The call that summer day was from an outdoors publisher. He was wondering if I would be interested in working full time at an outdoor publication.

This had always been something in the back of my mind since going into journalism in college. But my family has grown to love living in the Alexandria area.

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Read Alexandria Cardinals sports coverage from the Echo Press
Alexandria earned a 34-point victory on Friday thanks to a stout defensive effort and improved to 12-2 on the season.

Any kind of career move had always meant leaving the area, but this was different. I would have an opportunity to stay in Alexandria and work remotely.

When the official offer came, it was too good to pass up. My last day at the Echo Press will be on Nov. 7.

Fifteen years goes by fast. I started at the newspaper as a sports reporter out of college. I now have a wife, two daughters and a 5-acre place that has become a home.

I had no idea how long my tenure in Alexandria might last, but an opportunity to move into the sports editor role quickly came along.

I remember thinking about how I wanted to cover the Alexandria area in that role, and one main focus was to give the athletes a voice. Make them a big part of the interview process and tell stories through their eyes instead of just from a box score.

I tried to seek out feature stories, along with chronicling the biggest events on the schedule each night. I appreciate every athlete who allowed me to interview them.

I hope it provided better, more in-depth coverage. You certainly helped me enjoy the job more and allowed me to grow as a writer.

I owe a thank you to the coaches from all the Douglas County area teams. There are nights on the schedule with almost 20 games we could be at for a two-person staff.

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Community newspapers need cooperation from coaches in terms of providing stats and details from every event. That allows us to not only report on each game, but also see themes or bigger stories developing throughout a season that makes for better coverage.

I worked with great coaches from this area. Almost all of them were always willing to talk with me about their teams, even after some heartbreaking losses.

The majority of them care deeply about their role as coaches. That’s a big reason why there are so many competitive programs in Alexandria and the surrounding school districts.

I also owe a thank you to the readers. I know I was not perfect at my job, but I did go to great lengths to be as accurate as possible down to every detail. There was a lot of triple checking name spellings on rosters (I’m sorry if I still spelled your name wrong).

My interactions with fans of area teams was overwhelmingly positive. I will miss covering the biggest games on the schedule late in seasons and feeling the energy of a section championship or state tournament. Fans really rally around high school athletics in communities of this size, and it made writing about those big moments so enjoyable.

Finally, thank you to my coworkers. The Echo Press has great people working here that really care about the communities they cover. They work hard and take great pride in being your source of local news.

In 15 years of working at the Echo Press, I always enjoyed going to work. That is a cumulative result of being around great people mentioned above. I’m grateful for that as I look ahead to a new, exciting chapter coming up.

Related Topics: ALEXANDRIADOUGLAS COUNTY
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