To the people and communities of Mayville and Portland: I meant to write this letter to the editor much sooner, but I had several busy weekends before I was able to sit down and properly write out this expression of appreciation.
Now that I have my thoughts gathered, I feel as if the time is right to write this letter.
In the fall of 2017, I officially moved to Mayville from Jamestown after my freshman year of college.
I fondly remember former Mayville State President Gary Hagen telling me that after he heard I was from northwestern North Dakota, that Mayville “would make me an eastern North Dakotan” out of me before I graduated.
I had my doubts, as I still lived the summers back home and was very comfortable in that position.
However, after my first two years at Mayville State, I felt that it was time to go out on a limb and experience something new, living full time in Mayville all year.
With the help of Leah Larson, I was able to get into contact with Taylor Kunkel and find employment doing what I love, coaching baseball.
Three full, eventful, adventurous and successful years later, this was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Over the time, I had the luxury of being part of two region champions at both the Babe Ruth and American Legion levels, which both resulted in two state tournament appearances.
Beyond that, I was able to educate and share my love and passion for the game of baseball to numerous youths of the MayPort-CG communities, along with building great relationships with the families as well.
Although I consider myself too young to be called a dad, I consider many of these young men my sons and I care deeply about them and their bright futures.
This spring, I was afforded an opportunity to student teach and coach at MPCG, benefiting from the wonderful people who work at the school district and working with the students of this area.
As a coach, it is always great to be visible, and what better opportunity could I have been afforded than this one? It was greatly appreciated as many memories were formed.
Now onto my thank yous. Thank you Leah Larson, as without you, I would not have gotten in contact to be part of these communities in the first place.
Thank you to Taylor Kunkel for taking a chance on me in both the coaching and education spheres, as you’ve been a great mentor and friend.
Thank you to the MPCG Baseball Boosters for supporting me and most importantly, our kids in their pursuits.
Thank you to Michael Bradner, La Lynda Blotsky and Alex Berry for your willingness to take me on as I continued to finish my degree at Mayville State. I truly enjoyed my teaching experience.
Last, but not least, thank you to all the kids, parents and families I have gotten to know so well over the last three years.
You treated me like family and made me feel welcome as we accomplished great things on the field and in the classroom over this time. It is greatly appreciated.
The future is bright with our kids and our people, and I urge you all to continue to support your youths’ endeavors.
Thank you for being genuine people, as it is an honor to be part of the Patriot family.
Thank you and best wishes for the future.