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Three Hundred

Three Hundred

It was brought to my attention. I now have three hundred articles with Webb Weekly. I am sure there are several more. But these three hundred submissions are archived. That makes me smile. Special thanks to my big brother Jim. He has been a great mentor and friend. I tend to disagree with his politics and only hear from him when I do something dumb. I appreciate his encouragement and trust. Kudos to my editor, Steph. She is the brains behind the operation. Steph and I are buds. I might see her twice a year if I am lucky, but we correspond quite often. She routinely keeps me in line. Much love, guys.

I have been with her since the beginning. Jim pitched an idea 18 years back when I was at White Deer Golf Course. I provided some copy and designed our full-page advertisements for this new weekly publication. I would update the folks on our tournaments. I would also throw in a few stories about some of our members. The “Notes from the Greenside Bunker” were a hit. I did this for ten seasons. My proud mom even made a scrapbook with many of these entries. I often look back. Beautiful memories. This was the start of our fantastic relationship.

Jim and Steph asked me to go full-time several years ago. This is where the three hundred comes from. “Sporting Matters with Spence.” My chums will occasionally ask me to do a cover. These are very special assignments for our local celebs. Sometimes, it’s a feature on a team or a youngster who claimed recent PIAA gold. There is much more pressure on these projects. I always do my best. One of my favorites was a write-up on the legendary Coach Frank Girardi. That piece on his enshrinement to the College Football Hall of Fame won me an award. Not kidding. It was so good to reconnect with Coach a few years later when Lycoming renamed their stadium. Coach Frank called and gave me some love. I still have his voicemail. He is the man. There were many others. Mike Mussina. Kelly Mazzante. Alize Johnson. Davion Hill. Katie Jones. Kyle Datres. Garrett Hoffman. I am getting old.

My friends give me the freedom to write. My weekly topics vary. I used to turn several heads. I have covered just about everything in terms of sports. I have penciled several articles about high school football and hoops. I also chimed in with local wrestling, baseball, volleyball, soccer, and track and field. Pickleball was a hot topic, too. I enjoy reaching out and getting to know many of the beautiful coaches and young athletes in our surrounding area. Tom Gravish, Pete White, Scott Grove, Ron Insinger, JC Keefer, Jeremy Eck, Maz, Curtis Jacobson, and twenty more. I loved sharing tales with my interactions with my players. You can’t make it up sometimes, whether it was hoops or golf. My guys always made me shine. My article on a Brazilian foreign exchange student set all kinds of records. Our international clicks went up 1,450%.

I often scribe about fishing and my love for the great outdoors. Hiking and traveling to some of the lower 48’s National Parks were popular topics. But most of the stuff is right here at home. We are so blessed to live in such a fantastic area. Lycoming Creek. Loyalsock Creek. Pine Creek. World’s End. Jacoby Falls. Rose Valley Lake. My good friends will take me on some adventures if I mention their names. J Britt introduced me to ice fishing, and Ian got me trolling for walleyes. Austin Gabb took me bassing on the Susquehanna, and Kennedy saved my life. Reeder and Francis taught me how to nymph for trout. My Unbelievable Fishing Story is still trending. My write-up of almost landing a monster musky from a kayak has over 18k online views. There is never a dull moment. I wrote a story on watching the very first MLB Little League Classic from my canoe. I was in the stands for the next one. Two years ago, I caught a monster Smallmouth under the lights.

My favorite stories involve my family. I am so proud of Jensen and all he does. Many of my articles are about his sports. He is somewhat famous. I feel bad for him when folks ask him questions at Wegmans. Poor Jensen pleads the fifth. He had an unbelievable run with his baseball team. It was a joy to share his triumphs on this page. He also plays a lot of basketball, and I enjoy chronicling each stage. Teach doesn’t like the spotlight. She doesn’t want me to mention her name. We lead an interesting lifestyle. Many articles. Xbox to Fortnite. Elf on the Shelf and Santa. Our trips to Yellowstone and Yosemite. The Black Hills and the beach. Several enjoyed our tales of the building mishaps with the two-car garage and addition with my dad. Mom did not.

Sometimes, I drift off the deep end. I will occasionally stir the pot. But now I require Steph’s blessing. I completely understand. I chimed in on the local airport. COVID. School board issues. The city’s decision to shut down the courts. The Field of Dreams. My three-week rant on “Setting the Record Str8” got me into trouble. But it was so worth it. Golf and local politics simply do not mix. Little League Baseball and I have made up recently. I am proud of my guy Pat. Look, guys. I am just a part-time scribe who tries to sell free papers.

Again. Special thanks for all the support from Webb Weekly. This has been an incredible opportunity. Writing was never a forte. It wasn’t my favorite subject. I owe a lot to my English teacher, Bob McDonald, who knew that I struggled. Doc encouraged me to start an outdoor journal the summer before I went to college. I saw him a few years ago, and he even gave me some praise. No. This is not a signoff. I am simply blessed to tally three hundred columns. This is a big deal for me. I look forward to many more. Much love to those who tune in each week. You all mean the world. Cheers.