Editorial by Mark Lourenzo

Beacon Sports Correspondent

It truly seems weird that we've come to the end of our rope here at the Humboldt Beacon. It just doesn't feel right after following this great season of the Fortuna Huskies and Ferndale Wildcats football teams that I will not be writing on the North Coast Section title game between Ferndale and Salesian. It's like reading a really great novel and someone tore out the last chapter from the back of the book. But it was never just about local high school football. It seems equally weird that I'm not gearing up for the winter sports season. I won't be contacting new and returning coaches and making my usual spread sheets on all the teams, both varsity, junior varsity and more for both sides of the river.

When I took the job at the Humboldt Beacon it was after following my son Brandon through his youth and high school sports seasons in Ferndale as both a parent and a sports writer. It was through those years that I came to fully realize the importance of sports to kids, young adults and to the community itself as we followed our favorite sports teams and rooted whole-heartedly. It was also strange the first time I took the Fortuna side of the field to report on the Huskies after years of rooting for the other side of the river.

I came to realize that no matter which team you were rooting for there were really good folks on both sidelines. Each side just as passionate as the other and it was all about the kids playing for our favorite team. Last week's NCS playoff game between the Wildcats and the Huskies was a perfect example. The game had the whole valley abuzz. There were the bets laid and the good-natured trash talking about which team would win and just how they would go about it. Give or take two thousand fans who watched it all unfold as the boys played their hearts out.

One way or another, one local team was going to go home unhappy. One side of the river in jubilation and the other shaking their heads on how it could have turned out different. But that's the beauty of a local rivalry like Fortuna versus Ferndale, come the next sport or the next football season, it will be revisited again and again. Hopefully in my years as the sports writer for the Humboldt Beacon, local folks got enjoyment out of the coverage.

Hopefully somewhere on some kid's wall, in a scrapbook or maybe on a bulletin board somewhere, there sits an article or picture cut out of the Humboldt Beacon on a sports story important to someone. I always appreciated when someone approached me and said they really enjoyed reading my coverage on the local sports teams. I know I certainly enjoyed being there and attempting to capture the moment for local sports fans.

I don't understand why a bigger effort was not made to save the Humboldt Beacon, but then what's 110 years? The powers-that-be could have raised the price to 75 cents a while back; my God, it was only 50 cents for the weekly Beacon all the way to the bitter end.

But what do I know on the grand scheme of things, I just tried to do justice to the sports stories of the Eel River Valley and somehow make it interesting and current in a weekly newspaper.