145 10 LINKEDIN 3 COMMENTMORE

The first rule of journalism is to remain impartial.

No cheering from the pressbox, and you're definitely not allowed to play favorites.

So when I was first asked more than three years ago, "Is Shippensburg your favorite?" I was a bit surprised.

We have a little more leniency in sports, I'd say. Of course, if I'm watching a Franklin-Fulton squad take on some team I've never heard of in the district playoffs, I'm going to root for our team, at least quietly. But I never would've guessed the topic of "Who's Lizi's favorite?" would ever be such a hot commodity.

If you ask Shippensburg football coach Eric Foust, he'd definitely tell you the Milkman (former Waynesboro football coach Brennan Marion) was my favorite.

But if you were to question Greencastle-Antrim's football squad about my favorite, they'd probably say, "Anybody but us."

Blue Devil baseball coach Eric Shaner definitely think he knows my favorite: Southern Fulton baseball. The Indians, on the other hand, have always been happy to accept their spot at the top of my totem pole.

So, after nearly five years, I'm saying goodbye to GameTimePA.com and Public Opinion, and I'm here to answer that age-old question: "Who does Lizi like best?"

The truth: You're all my favorites.

Every kid like G-A's Casey Hoover, SF's Chase Varner or James Buchanan's Jared Pine, who fought through tears and emotions to give me a solid interview, is my favorite.

Also, every kid like McConnellsburg's McKenzie Gelvin or Waynesboro's Cat Weber, who broke away from celebration with their families and friends to speak to me about a milestone or a medal, is my favorite.

All those athletes like Southern Fulton's Tristan Douglas or Shippensburg's Brock Dull who shared their stories about coming back from disease or injuries, you are my favorite.

Or families like the Whitfields, of Chambersburg, and the Millers, of Waynesboro, who willingly opened up to me about the struggles, and achievements, of having a family member with autism, your families are my favorite.

For every coach like G-A's Gary Martin, who always brought me a sub to away games, or JB's Andy Stoner, who never shied away from an interview during a tough football season, or Fannett-Metal's Greg Best, who let me capture sheer joy on video after a semifinal upset, you guys are my favorite.

And every athletic director, like Jeremy Flores, of Chambersburg, or Shalom Christian's Murray Roseman, who were always willing to lend a helping hand, or even JB's Larry Strawoet, who loved my camo fanny pack, you also are my favorite.

All those student sections who welcomed me with open arms, like McConnellsburg's Cherry Street Zoo and their Lizi-lookalike Big Heads, or Greencastle's Devils Den and my trio of Snapchat valentines, y'all are definitely my favorite.

I couldn't possibly forget every athlete, dating all the way back to Shippensburg's Spencer Van Scyoc in 2013 and Southern Fulton's Dylan Gordon last year, for putting up with me during these crazy All-Star Challenges. You guys are especially my favorite. Chambersburg's Abby Yourkavitch pretty much saved my life during that track & field challenge, to be honest.

For every parent, coach or fan who has thanked me for my work and dedication, you are my favorite. I never thought I would be so passionate about high school sports until I came to the Franklin-Fulton area. Countless hours and immeasurable energy have been spent trying to provide every school with the best possible coverage, favorite or not.

To the GameTimePA.com crew, especially Lindsey Smith and Ed Gotwals, but also our counterparts in Lebanon, York and Hanover, I couldn't have done what I did here without you, so therefore, GameTimePA.com is my favorite.

And if I left you out, don't worry; you're still my favorite, too.

To make a long story short, these past five years have filled my heart and mind with so many amazing memories. I couldn't possibly pick just one.

With that, I'll leave you with a short piece of advice: Enjoy every day. Unlike me, most of you will graduate from high school sports at some point in your lives, so enjoy your teammates, your coaches and every game, win or lose. This is truly the best place to be.

145 10 LINKEDIN 3 COMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://gtpa.co/2nrJWXu