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Show me your effort; I'm ready to report back

My name is Wade Evanson and I’m the new sports editor for the Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune.

As a longtime resident of this area, I’ve seen the great teams, the great players and the great moments western Washington County sports have provided — hail Marys, buzzer-beaters, walk-off homeruns and more. I’ve also seen and enjoyed the way fans have rallied around those teams and moments, embracing them with the type of contagious enthusiasm that differentiates our community from others.

I’m no different.

I love sports.

I always have.

I was the kid in the yard throwing the football to himself. The kid keeping statistics for a league of his own creation. And the kid shooting baskets in the dark, leaving the neighbors with little choice but to phone my parents in hopes of securing the silence necessary to sleep on a late summer night.

What does that make me? Fanatical, I suppose. Sure, ultimately sports are sports, but beyond the simplicity of the games lie societal benefits that transcend wins and losses, state championships and individual accolades. Selflessness, discipline and trust in the power of a team are virtues that aren't limited to the highest levels of sport, but also are born and nurtured at the elementary, high school and small college levels prevalent in and around the Hillsboro and Forest Grove areas.

It’s those virtues I hope to celebrate in our community via my reporting, my commentary and my passion for the games and the kids, young men and women and older athletes who play them.

I think we all remember the great — and sometimes not so great — performances of our youth, and equally remember the feeling of getting our name in the paper. Not only did it allow us to momentarily revel in our achievement, but also validate the hard work that cultivated our success. I don’t take that responsibility lightly, and consider it my duty to identify the people and performances worthy of the spotlight our newspapers provide.

So I issue this challenge: Make me notice. Impress me with your effort. Build on the success of the champions that came before you.

In return, I’ll do my best to honor your effort with the respect it deserves.

So go Vikings, Braves and Greyhounds! Go Spartans, Jaguars, Falcons and Crimson Tide! Go Boxers! And go every kid, teen and adult participating and competing in our community sports. You have my attention, and I look forward to what you have in store.

Wade Evanson is sports editor for the News-Times.