Marty Warren announces retirement from sports writing
Published 9:00 am Saturday, April 14, 2018
It’s never easy to end something that you always have enjoyed doing. That’s why — after 42 years of writing sports for The Advocate-Messenger — I’m putting my pen and paper away and retiring as a sportswriter.
It’s a bittersweet day for me. I never thought about writing until the late Bill Vaught, the sports editor for the newspaper in 1975, approached me about writing sports stories.
I was right out of high school and it didn’t take me long to say yes.
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After all, I had been involved in sports throughout high school had already written sport stories for the Advocate during my high school days.
Larry Vaught followed his father as sports editor and I learned more from him throughout my years than I ever could have imagined.
He was not only my boss, but I considered him the big brother that I never had. I tried to copy his style — he was the best sportswriter ever at the newspaper — and I can honestly say he made me the writer I am today.
I worked for Jeremy Schneider following Larry’s retirement and most recently Matt Overing when Jeremy decided to return to his home state, Ohio.
All four Sports Editors were fun to work for and not one time had a discouraging word for me. They were always positive — despite having to juggle assignments for the numerous sports activities in our area.
I can only imagine how hard that would be to try to keep everyone happy at a small newspaper.
I also had the privilege of working with the finest sportswriters and photographers in the state. I would put their work against anybody in the state. Simply put, they were the best.
Clay Jackson was by far the best photographer I have ever seen. James Morris, Troy Anderson and Edwin Findley — my personal photographer because I had a hard time taking notes and trying to take pictures — shot the best photos that I could match with any of the larger newspapers in the state or country.
Then there were the sportswriters. Mike Marsee, Hal Morris, Josh Cook, Jeremy Schneider and Matt Overing were not only friends but excellent sportswriters as well.
Again, I would put their work against anyone in the state and feel comfortable about it.
I can’t thank Publisher Mary Schurz enough for believing in Bill Vaught’s thoughts and giving me a chance.
Most publishers wouldn’t give someone right out of high school a second thought, but she never batted an eye and was always supportive of my stories.
I also owe a big thank you to Scott Schurz and Larry Hensley for their encouragement after Ms. Schurz’s retirement.
My favorite memories:
When I started in 1976, Danville had the only football state championship (1962) in the area.
Now they have 11, Boyle County eight and Mercer County one. Mercer’s girls have won two straight state basketball titles while Mercer and Boyle have each won a pair of track championships.
There were so many more memories: D’Mauraie VanCleave (Danville), Jeff Duggins, Lamar Dawson (Boyle), Dennis Johnson (Harrodsburg), and Jeremy Simpson (Lincoln) all being named Mr. Football.
Boyle boys remarkable run to Sweet 16 final four.
David Camic coaching both Danville and Boyle to regional baseball championships.
KSD upsetting Garrard County in 45th District tournament for its only regional tournament berth in 1981.
I tried to retire in 2011, but something would always come up at the newspaper and management thought enough of me to ask me to stay on until a replacement was found. However, the time has come for me to finally retire.
I don’t know how many players and coaches that I had the opportunity to cover. I watched many of them climb up to the little leagues and many had the chance to continue to play at the college and professional level.
My father turns 85 in May, and it has become increasingly difficult to care for him. It’s time to spend more time with the people I love the most: My family. I’ve been away long enough.
Thank you to everyone who has read this newspaper for my 42 years. I had a lot of feedback from many of you — some good and some bad — but that goes with every job in any profession. I had my ups and downs just like everyone and have made many friends. Finally, it’s my time to say goodbye. Thanks for the memories!