After just a shade over three years, I'll be moving on from my role as the sports editor of both the New Canaan News and the Darien News and accepting a position as a sports reporter at the Danbury News-Times.

I just wanted to take a minute to write one final column and thank everyone in both towns for always making me feel so welcome and for accepting me into the communities.

The list of coaches I'd like to thank would go on for a very long time, so I'm not going to list everyone's names, but let it be known that I genuinely appreciate the willingness of all coaches in both towns to speak with the media, even if it came after a tough loss. With no exceptions, all of the coaches were willing to be interviewed as well as speak candidly, and it made my job all the more enjoyable.

I would, however, like to thank the athletic directors at both schools: Jay Egan at New Canaan and Chris Manfredonia at Darien, as well as former Darien athletic directors John Keleher and Mike Sullivan. Just like the coaches, all four were always willing to be interviewed or provide a means to get a story on a specific team or athlete at all times. They were fun to watch the games with as well, and it's obvious how much they truly care about all of the student-athletes.

Hopefully, you'll all continue to read the New Canaan News and the Darien News in the future. We don't know who the new sports editor will be just yet, but he or she will get off to a good start with the continued support of both Darien and New Canaan.

Because our papers have never had more than five full-time members combined over the past three years, a team mentality is essential, and it's been a pleasure to work with past and present employees Ashley Varese, Pat Hines, Megan Spicer, Nelson Oliveira, Ben Holbrook, Belinda Stasiukiewicz, Megan Davis, Tyler Woods and Thomas Michael.

It's been fun to have a front row seat in the middle of the New Canaan vs. Darien rivalry for the last three years. Fierce as it is, it is a rivalry that isn't defined by hatred or bitterness; rather, its staples are tradition and competition, and that's what the best rivalries are all about at any level. There's no doubt that both schools badly want to defeat the other, but it's plain to see that there's also a lot of respect between the Blue Wave and Rams.

Among the many teams we cover at the Danbury News-Times are FCIAC schools Danbury and Ridgefield, so it's likely that you'll see me when one of these two schools happens to take on New Canaan or Darien.

I look forward to working with Danbury News-Times sports editor Rich Gregory, and he already knows that -- everything else being equal -- I'd be happy to cover a game in which Ridgefield or Danbury is playing New Canaan or Darien. Additionally, my stories should continue to run in other sister papers such as the Connecticut Post and the Stamford Advocate. Thanks again and don't ever be strangers if you see me at the games! Twitter: @jchik17

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