With the holiday season officially in full swing, it is not uncommon for people to say what they are thankful for. People take a fresh look at their lives and really appreciate what they have as well as look back on what they have seen.

For some, sports are one of those things. It can take on many roles and definitions. It can be a distraction from the stresses of life, even if only just for a few hours. It can be an opportunity to get out of your dorm or home for some fresh air. It also can be an ideal opportunity to get together with friends, new and old, and have a good time.

As an avid sports fan, I follow everything in pro sports and at the University of Rhode Island. I also have had the prestigious honor and privilege of covering most sports here on campus for “The Good 5 Cent Cigar.” In the process, I have worked with some exceptional people and gotten some experience with being a reporter. Experience that I can say with complete certainty, I wouldn’t change for the world.

Results may have been mixed as far as wins and losses, but I consider every event I have been to a significant victory in terms of sentimental value. It began freshman year when my first new group of friends made attending hockey games a weekly ritual. I am proud to say we are still friends to this day. Hockey was the first sport I covered as a member of this paper.

There was also the University of Massachusetts football game in 2011 that Rhode Island came back and won 37-34. Win or lose, that game would have been memorable. It was a back-and-forth battle between two division rivals. As the Rams came back in the fourth quarter, I not only reveled in victory with those in the stands, but also with my dad. It was the first sporting event here at URI we had attended together.

Another significant event occurred a few months later when, as the men’s basketball team neared the end of its 7-24 season, I received some tickets to their game against Temple. That week I asked everyone I knew to come with me. Finally, one of my close friends agreed to go. While the game got out of hand quickly and URI went on to lose 73-56, it is one of the greatest times I have ever had that I still recall vividly to this day. There also was last year’s basketball game against Providence College, which was the last event I went to with many friends before they graduated last May. It was the liveliest atmosphere I have ever been a part of and will be tough to beat.

I am proud of everything I have accomplished and covered as a member of this newspaper. I have especially enjoyed writing these weekly columns for the last few semesters. Whether it be the Rams’ 1998 run to the Elite Eight, or discussing baseball as a beat with Coach Foster last season, it has been an honor to share every word, experience and opinion I have encountered with our university. I also had a joy covering men’s soccer and writing a profile on then-junior Matt Sykes following his two-goal performance against Bryant. His story was remarkable and one of the most enjoyable assignments I have done.

I am thankful for all the moments URI athletics has given me and those that have seen them with me, the effort the players have put forth in providing memorable moments and for the coaches making covering the events as easy as possible. I also would like to thank everyone on this staff. Without the hard work and dedication of these colleagues and friends, I would not have been able to do what I love, cover sports here at URI. This paper is in the best of hands and will continue to be in the future.

Whatever your reason, come out and support URI athletics as well as our paper. One outing could be a memorable moment. A moment you could be thankful for down the road, share with others and cherish for a lifetime.