Last August, I was sitting with my dog in my apartment as Hurricane Harvey raged on outside thinking, “What have I gotten myself into?” I had never experienced a hurricane, didn’t have a particular fondness for storms in general and had just started my first professional job in a completely new city.
Now nearly a full year later I know exactly what I got myself into. My time spent in Sealy has given me the privilege of meeting some of the best people I have ever met. The incredible thing about that is the truly special people weren’t just a few select coaches, athletes, teachers, co-workers or citizens, it was all of them.
From the first interview I ever had with Shane Mobley to the first meal at Tony’s Family Restaurant, I knew I had made the right decision. The people of Sealy were caring for each other, especially in the aftermath of Harvey. They were passionate about their city and they were appreciative. That last one has always stuck with me whenever I was thanked for covering a particular athlete, team or story. It was likely a small gesture for them that meant a lot to me.
I didn’t go into this profession to have my name in the paper or to have any type of celebrity, I did it because I wanted to share other people’s amazing stories. Sealy, let me tell you, there are some amazing stories here. Each and every time I talked to an athlete or student, I was blown away by their life stories and their willingness to share them.
I’ve talked to kids who have lost parents, some who have had to work multiple jobs to ensure they can go to college and some who just worked incredibly hard in the classroom and out. They were open to talk about it and at the end of almost every day on my drive home, I was legitimately bewildered by the quality of their character and how mature they were.
One of the main reasons for this is because of the system around them. Any parent who has walked up to me has been nothing but polite, even if it was a constructive criticism. Shane Mobley and his coaching staff have connected with their athletes in such a unique way that it created an atmosphere that I was glad just to be a spectator of.
On the academic side, administrators from Megan Oliver and Sheryl Moore to teachers and other faculty like Erin Moore and Gayle DeBerry are just a few of the dedicated people that not only helped make my job easier but are truly dedicated to helping the students. The amount of extra time they put into ensuring their students had success in the classroom and especially in extracurricular.
Writing a goodbye is one of the hardest things to do. Not just because I hate writing about myself but because the list of people who have impacted me in Sealy is as tall as I am and then some. Whether it was Mobley going to every event he could no matter how far away it was, Sheryl Moore willing to sit down and talk about any issue no matter how uncomfortable it may be or any of the coaches and players taking time out of their own lives to do an interview, it was these small things that I will miss.
It’s all a part of the job but it’s not one that is always the easiest. The people of Sealy made sure I had their time and they cared about me past just my profession. They’re not afraid to be friendly and ask you how you’re doing. The people of Sealy care and that is something that I have appreciated greatly and will truly miss.
Even though I am leaving, working at The Sealy News will forever be my first job and one that I could not be happier I chose. Sometimes life throws some curveballs at you and leads you down a different path but it’s a path that started here and because of that, I will forever be thankful to the city of Sealy and especially the people in it.
Tad Desai covers sports and education for The Sealy News. He can be reached at 979-885-3562 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.