By SCOTT LAVELOCK
Pleasant Hill Times Sports Editor
Eric Hosmer. Marcus Peters. Lorenzo Cain. Alex Smith. Jason Vargas. Scott Lavelock. What do they all have in common?
You’re about to be seeing a lot less of them.
It’s with deep regret and a very heavy heart that I must announce my resignation from the Pleasant Hill Times. This town means a great deal to me, and it means a lot to me that its events are covered well. The fact that I won’t be able to contribute to that effort anymore has filled me with a tremendous amount of sadness.
It would neither be possible nor even appropriate for me to fully explain in this space the reasons I must step down, but I can at least give you some general ideas. Those of you who have known me for awhile are aware that I’ve been in poor health most of my adult life, and that continues to be the case. You may also know that I have a 14-month-old son, and I feel the best thing I can do with my life right now is be a good father to him.
I can’t be a good dad, though, if I’m not healthy or if I’m going to continue asking to be left alone so I can write. The news cycle is one that never ends. It’s like a school that you can’t graduate from. As soon as you’ve finished your homework for the week, you get rewarded the following week with more. The only way to achieve its completion is to escape it.
There is no such thing as paid time off here, and I doubt many of you realize how hard the employees here work and how little they are paid. But there’s not much more that can be done. There simply aren’t the financial resources here to do better. More than ever, this newspaper needs your support.
I have a lot of people to thank, and I’m sorry to anyone I may forget. But first, I must thank all my co-workers here, publisher Pat Roll, and the folks at the paper in Sedalia who print our paper. They put up with my idiosyncrasies and my tardiness in finishing my work. They’ve done most of the important work of this business, allowing me to focus on sports. I couldn’t have done as good of a job without them doing so.
Some of you may recall that I won a nice award from the Missouri Press Association for one of my articles. But I really don’t believe I deserved it. In my opinion, eligibility for such an award should be invalidated if the work being rewarded missed deadline as badly as it did. The only reason I was in such a position to be recognized was the patience of those around me. I wish the credit could go to them somehow.
Along those lines, I also must thank those in my home. My girlfriend, Jess, has spent countless hours taking care of our son alone while I was working at games or in the newsroom. Much of the material you’ve seen over the last two years would’ve never seen print if she hadn’t given me the time to produce it, yet she receives no recognition publicly for it. I also must thank our other friends and family members who have helped watch our boy, Grayson, while I’ve worked. That includes my parents, Rick and Sheryl, who have not only helped support me through this time in my life, but also through all the other times when I’ve been unhealthy and needed help.
I’d also really like thank the Pleasant Hill coaches and AD Jim Oliver, who have helped provide information and photos for our paper. We have very little material without their help. I hope they remember going forward that my replacement will also need that assistance. The more good info we have, the better the paper will be!
Since I know you’ll wonder what I’ll be doing next, I’ll just go ahead and say that I likely won’t be working much in the coming months. I may be receiving new treatment soon which won’t allow me the ability to work for awhile, but even if I don’t undergo that treatment, I will still need to devote more time toward doctor
appointments and a healthy lifestyle. I also need and want to spend more time with Grayson. If I can’t provide for him financially right now, then I need to be there
for him more often and teach him how to be a person in this world.
I’ve been crushed in the last year by my inability to really do any of those things. And even though I feel downright humiliated and emasculated by my current situation, the only way to improve it is to change direction. So that’s what I’m doing. I may be upset that I have to leave, but I’m also encouraged by the future
of sports coverage here. I believe this town will be in good hands with the man replacing me. I know for a fact that he cares a lot about the Roosters and Chicks, as I do.
By chance a few days ago, I stumbled across a column I wrote almost 10 years ago. It appeared in the Christmas Eve issue of the Leavenworth Times, where I first worked after college, in 2008. It was called, “Why I Love Sports.” I thought now would be a fine opportunity for it to see print one more time, and not just because it’s the last time you’ll see my writing every week, and not just because they could use it to fill space with me not contributing anything else.
Maybe I’ll work in sports again someday, and if I do, it’ll be because it’s a true passion of mine. But even if I don’t, that love will still remain. Whatever I do, and whatever you do in your life, I hope that we keep in mind our reasons. I need to rekindle the love for the things in my existence, and I urge you to act with a spirit of love in as many of your actions as you can.
With that in mind, here is what I wrote for the paper in Leavenworth on Dec. 24, 2008: To be found on Page 7 of this week’s issue (03-14-2018) of the Pleasant Hill Times.