Extra Innings: See You Later, Central


Amber Burchfield

LUKE KEOWN: SEE YOU LATER, CENTRAL — Keown pictured by the baseball scoreboard at Gene Lively Baseball field.

Luke Keown, Sports Editor, Columnist

Well, here it is: the column I have dreaded writing. This farewell piece brings about the closure and finality of my Digest career, just like the third out in the last inning of a game at Gene Lively Stadium. More importantly, my goodbye feels like the final nail in my purple and gold coffin. But this, unlike most goodbyes, is a happy one and not one of solemn sorts. 

I say goodbye to the Digest, and its home in B-109, after two memorable years on the staff- one as a staff writer and one as the Sports Editor. I can truly say that this journalism class has changed who I am as a student and peer. On top of that, my time as a member of the Digest, the 2021 Tennessee High School Press Association ‘Online Publication of the Year’, cultivated my writing style and I feel it has prepared me for college. 

Soon, senior Digest staff members will branch out into different parts of the state to continue their studies. Personally, I will be attending the University of Tennessee-Southern in Pulaski, Tennessee to continue both my baseball and academic careers. While we will be hundreds of miles apart, I will always remember the days in fifth period with you all. I have so many fond memories of being in Journalism with you guys. 

These last four years roaming the halls at 5728 Highway 58 have been the most formative of my life. While I am overwhelmed with emotion, and the feeling like after graduation that I will miss this place wholeheartedly, I am comforted by the new memories and experiences ahead.

To Mr. Cantrell: Thank you for everything you have done for me these last two years. You care about your students and it shows. I appreciate your dedication to keeping our Digest up and running semester after semester. From helping me with scholarship essays, teaching me how to do sudoku puzzles, and helping be a better writer: I’ll miss you. 

To Coach Eller: You were the best teacher I never had! Kidding aside, you are a great man and I am honored to call you a friend. Those days talking to you about baseball, bass fishing, music, and life in general, hold some of my fondest memories. I may be going away for college, but you’ve got to take me fishing one day. 

To Mr. Kelley, Coach Jones, and Mrs. Hashe: Looking back at my high school experience, I can say that you were the most influential teachers I’ve had. Each of you served as a paragon for professionalism and amiability. You’ve each shown me how to have a meaningful impact on student’s lives. I can only hope to have a sliver of the impact on my future students that you have had on me. 

To Karleigh: Since Mr. Joyner’s geometry class freshman year, we have been friends and without you, I would’ve never joined the Digest. I know that you are super ambitious and that you will succeed in Knoxville!

To Carmen: You have been a great friend over these last few years and I can honestly say that I enjoyed reading ‘Carm’s Corner’. I wish you the best of luck in college. 

To Amber: You have been the best friend anyone could ask for and I’ll miss being in the Digest with you. I know you will do a great job as an editor next year. Keep working hard in your equestrian competitions. I’m sure that you will have a great senior year and do well in college, wherever you decide to go. 

To the future editors: I once heard someone say, “Great leaders provide their men with a strong foundation to stand on.” Former Editor in Chief Blake Catlett provided that foundation for Karleigh and I. With the help of Mr. Cantrell, I know that you will do the same for next year’s staff. 

I vividly remember walking into Central on my first day of my freshman year wondering how high school was going to go, what I would do, and who I would meet. Just thinking about that day four years ago makes me laugh. With the days on the graduation clock ticking away, I know I have met some of the greatest people and accomplished more than I could imagine.

Among all of the titles I have held at Central, Sports Editor of the Digest is the one I am most proud of.

See you later, Central.