To the folks who passionately root for District 4-5A teams and & Louisiana: In a quick and easy pair of words, thank you.
For most of 14 years, I sort of knew this day was coming. Honestly, it came a lot later than I thought it might.
To cut to the chase, the next few weeks will be my last with 4-5ALockerRoom.com and the Livingston Parish News and as a resident of the great state of Louisiana.
The Rosetta family is headed back to Lubbock, Texas, where our little story began when I met my wife when she was an intern and where my older daughter and recently minted Parkview Baptist graduate, Mallory, was born. The circle comes full because that daughter will attend Texas Tech, her mom’s alma mater, starting in August and we just weren’t ready to break our little band up just yet.
We have lived a good distance from both sides of our family for 14½ years and that has had the incredible impact of pulling us exceptionally close together as a family. Dad isn’t ready to let go of that yet, so when she made her decision, I began to explore options and was fortunate enough to find a job that fit.
There were a few more hurdles for us -- and especially me -- to scale before we could make the transition begin. One was coming to grips with the idea of walking away from the friendships we have forged in our time here.
We have raised one daughter here from age 5, brought another one, Darby, into the world who only knows Louisiana as home, and my wife and I have spread our wings professionally. As a family, we rekindled our faith at Istrouma Baptist Church, whose lead pastor Jeff Ginn is a proud Denham Springs resident. In a nutshell, we have flourished and grown and lived and loved in so many ways since Louisiana became our home.
Walking away from a place where the connection is this strong is tough to do.
For me, the hurdle was handing the keys back to 4-5ALockerRoom.com and the sports department of the Livingston Parish News.
I have been blessed to work for and with some of the best people in this business, starting with Butch Muir, Matt Randolph, Joe Schiefelbein, Scott Rabalais, Sheldon Mickles, the incomparable Robin Fambrough, Scott Hotard, Parryn Keys, et al., at The Advocate and carrying over to The Times-Picayune | NOLA.com when Doug Tatum took a chance on me and I got to team up with Louisiana legends Jim Kleinpeter (also a LP News alum) and Ron Higgins.
With every ounce of due respect to those folks and those two media entities, no place has been better to work for than the Livingston Parish News and the David clan, Nancy and McHugh. What Livingston Parish folks and now District 4-5A fans have is a newspaper/new media entity that blends history, family, love for community and an incredible vision for the future as newspapers and digital media evolve.
For those who commit to hard work and understand and have grasped the evolution of journalism, the Davids are fiercely loyal and dedicated folks to work for. Quite simply, the best.
McHugh David has become as much a friend as he is a boss. I tease him that he is the oldest 30-something man I know, but he also has a great grasp on what and where the LP News and the site he and I hatched need to evolve into.
Since March of 2016, we have established a foundation of how sports coverage in Livingston Parish and now the entirety of District 4-5A will continue to grow. There have been some hiccups and growing pains, as well as some triumphs, and the future is incredibly exciting. A site like 4-5ALockerRoom.com has long been a dream of mine and it was because of McHugh David's shared vision and belief that we got the site off the ground and headed in a direction that will continue to get better.
Which made it very tough for me to let go because my career has gotten a jolt of energy from working in this wonderful area the last several years.
What has made the pending departure easier for me is that my good friend William Weathers will slide into my role, and that’s a perfect transition because we share the same passion and desire to tell great stories. There sure are an abundance of those in District 4-5A and you folks will be in excellent hands with William and the guy who has been a God-send as my right-hand man, Rob DeArmond.
When you get to pass the baton to a guy you have a world of respect for and also know that your right-hand man is going to be right there next to him -- and Rob isn’t going anywhere, thank goodness -- it makes for an easier exit.
Just not any less emotional. Because Louisiana wrapped its arms around my family and made this home. You helped us raise two wonderful daughters and added huge chapters to the story of us.
For better or worse, the Rosetta family has been in Louisiana long enough to endure Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav and then The Great Flood of 2016.
I can, without hesitation, say that having a front-row seat to see how Louisiana folks roll with the punches and forge ahead has made me a better person, particularly the flood the last almost two years.
So this is a bittersweet changing of the guard for us as we embark on an amazing new family adventure, but also leave a wonderful wave of memories in Louisiana.
For those memories, thank you. Soignez vous-autres!
Randy Rosetta is the Managing Editor of 4-5ALockerRoom.com
You can reach him at (225) 999.0667 or Randy@LPN1989.com.
Follow on Twitter: @RandyRosetta