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Jim Coles says 'Thanks for the memories'

Our sports director has a few goodbyes to say and a few memories to share.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — "Last week, I covered my 33rd high school football season here at WNEP-TV. So, let's round it off to 33 1/3 which, of course, is a record.

"The last notes are playing on my career, and it's time to turn the music over to another generation.

"I began watching high school sports in the mid-1960s with the Blakely Bears, so it just feels right to step down on the heels of one last football season.

"I would like to thank my co-workers at WNEP-TV. Scott and I are friends; he just has poor taste in his sports teams.

"Lisa's class and kindness have trickled down through our newsroom in her year here, and those traits come across on the air.

"I came in and learned in the sports department with Joe and Tim, and enjoyed the 'good times' with Sharla, Landon, and my longest-running mate, Steve Lloyd.

"To the athletic directors and the officials, you don't get enough credit for supporting our local teams and players. It is sometimes a thankless role, yet indispensable.

"To the long list of football coaches, like George, Jack, Frank, Whitey, and Jim,  the talent and titles didn't mean as much as your friendship.

"In hoops, props to Vince and Kenny, C.I. at Loyalsock, 'Bess' at the 'U', and Coach Flannery and Trevor down at Bucknell.

"And course the players—I covered Mike Garcia winning 3 states wrestling titles at MCA, and Mike's three sons, winning 9 state championships in high school footbal, and one more in wrestling. I am like the avuncular Uncle Charley to Mike's three sons.

"From Munchak to McGloin, with Mussina, and Mazzante at Montoursville. Sura, and GMac in District 2.

"And those great nights at Martz Hall, where the Mecca was packed for boys and girls hoops.

"Covering the Red Barons, and RailRiders was a personal perk. 'Terk', and 'Jeep' won't be forgotten. And talking baseball with Bombie and Doug Davis was a 'twin killin'.

"I won't miss Talkback 16," and a few of the parents. For the record, I don't hate any school, any team or any sport. But, I loved being a local historian.

"You'll likely still see me down the road. 'Happy Valley' beckons for a visit sooner than later, and if events or vacations call for a lefty for a spot start, I'll be around.

"Because after 60 years of absorbing sports, and half my life covering it, it's too late to stop now."

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