I wrote my introduction column to the Leavenworth community in May 2018. 

I began the first column talking about my love of looking at the sports section of the paper growing up in Omaha and how I took that intrigue to apply it to a career.

That career in Leavenworth has been great. In nearly 14 months, I have written more than 500 articles. From recaps of big wins and features on local athletes to fun columns on players to root for on all 32 NFL teams. 

But after all of the content I have written for the Times, this one will be my last. I am saying goodbye to the community I have grown to love and have called my home since I started here fresh out of college last year. I am relocating to Atlanta with my girlfriend as she will start law school.

My year here has been one that I will cherish for a long time. I grew a lot as a journalist with this job. But I also grew as a person as I started the adventure of adulthood. 

In that intro column, I mentioned how my biggest goal as sports editor was having local coverage. While I wish I could have given even more local coverage, I feel like I was able to achieve the goal and give the community stories on the different sports that may have not gotten as much coverage elsewhere.

Like I mentioned in the column I wrote after my first year here, there were a lot of memorable moments in my time with Leavenworth. From covering state tournaments to updates on the local Special Olympics teams, there are tons of memories I have made here.

I also have had some great interactions with different people in the community. I want to thank all of you for everything. Like I said above, I grew a lot in this job and have a lot of you to thank. While there are too many to thank, I do send gratitude to all of you who I have worked with. 

I do want to give a special thanks to Mark Rountree and Sam Hattock at the Times. They hired me and allowed me to spend these last 14 months doing something I loved. Thank you.

Now that I am leaving, I am excited to start to actively root for all of the area teams. I tried to remain neutral as a journalist. But now, I will root for the Pioneers, Lions, Bobcats, Rams and Spires. 

While I am moving on, I am happy to share that the sports section will carry on with a new editor. We have found a replacement for me and I feel like the community will be in good hands. His name is Jason Brown. Check back next week when he introduces himself to all of you. I am sure he will do an excellent job giving this community the coverage it deserves. 

I do have a Medium account where I have posted some written pieces for fun. I am in the process of writing a review of Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled and plan on using that more this fall. So if you want to check that out, visit www.medium.com/@YouOnlyLukeOnce

You also can follow me on Twitter if you would like. It’s full of dumb memes and my gripes about the Vikings. My personal account is @YouOnlyLukeOnce

For those that have gotten to talk to me about more than sports, you know that I love music. I will end my column with the closing line from “Southern Air” by Yellowcard, one of my favorite bands. While Omaha will always be my true home, this place about three hours south will remain part of me forever.

“This southern air is in my lungs 

It’s in every word I’ve sung 

It seems the only truth I know 

This will always be home”

Luke Peterson is the former sports editor for the Leavenworth Times