KC Smurthwaite

Posted Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - 6:22pm

I am just going to get this out of the way and cut the suspense: I am taking my talents and abilities to Southern Utah University next fall.

There, that ends the speculation. To future athletes and returning athletes who will be here next year, no worries. I will be coming back to help with the baseball team on the weekend.

Now to the good stuff.

I want to thank the readers for making The Eagle,successful this year. Without you we wouldn’t have been able to produce anything. I even thank some of the knuckleheads on campus that do stupid stuff--it gives us something to write about. I love working and representing The Eagle, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I walked into the newspaper lab a few weeks into my freshman year in 2008 when, then, sports editor Riley Spears was looking for someone to contribute a sports story every so often. Three years, 26 issues and about 40 stories later, I’m still here.

From being that kid that to somehow becoming an editor within weeks of my arrival, then coming off a Spanish-speaking mission and editing English again, it’s been a wild ride. I thank Susan Polster. I don’t know how to put it into words but she has been my academic lifeline. I want to also thank Daylan Jones and Karli Morris, both of whom have filled in for me while I was away (I think Karli put a bounty on my head a few times). 

I never would have arrived in Price if it weren›t for Ron Vogel of the Business Department, who randomly ran into my Dad at a mall in Provo, after not seeing him for more than 30 years, and told him about the school where he worked. I remember my father telling me as a sophomore in high school, “Price is a dump. You will not go to school there.” Well, Dad was wrong for once. And you know what? He really likes Price now.

Solidifying it all was Terry “Doctor J” Johnson whose fatherly approach and kindness helped me make the transition from home and high school to college student. It also helped that his wife, Cherilyn, took me in as a surrogate son.

Surprising as it seems, not everyone in Price is a fan of mine. What can I say? Just this: Thanks. It’s a good sign when you’re busy, involved and helping to make changes. Not everyone likes those qualities and there’s bound to be resentment. So I appreciate those who liked to zing me. It kept me on my toes and kept me thinking.

There are others I’d also like to thank. The Herzog family, who also took me in not only in Price, but when I was on the other side of the country serving a church mission. Shawn Herzog is by far the best dessert cook on campus. I also had some wonderful professors: Melanie Nelson (yes, my math tutor Katie Jo Marx is back), Curt and Carrie Icard (pretty sure I disrupted your class one too many times), Jennifer Truschka (she proved that a teacher’s passion for a topic can get students excited, no matter how early the class is); Kevin Bower (you know exactly why I loved your class).

Also, I want to say thanks to Becky Archibald for not letting me go hungry, Dan Allred for being the Number One Smurf Turf fan, Sharon Jones for putting up with my complaints, James Prettyman, a.k.a. “Demolition Derby,” Frank Ori , Coach Vando (you’ll do a great job) and Jan Thornton. I can’t forget to thank Chancellor Peterson and Brad King. I know they probably think I am some crazy kid who probably had too much responsibility and too many decisions to make, but thanks for letting me be that kid. I really want to help USU Eastern grow both academically and athletically. 

Lastly, I want to thank Coaches Dave Paur and Scott Madsen. I am pretty sure I would have never remained sane without the two of them. Coach Paur gives me weekly “Athletic Director Lessons,” and sometimes throws in his dating tips. Unfortunately the dating tips didn’t work on any females here.  Stick with athletics, coach. Best of luck in Cedar right?

With Coach Madsen and his family – I really don’t know where to begin. I guess I can just say thanks, there is too little space for me to thank you for everything. I thought I knew a lot about coaching baseball and recruiting, but I feel like an ant when compared to Coach Madsen’s knowledge. “Scoot,” took a chance on me and then stuck with me. I know he gets a lot of raised eyebrows and strange looks when a 22 year-old kid comes strolling on the field to coach or recruits an athlete. These two men have taken care of me, and I hope that someday I can help take care of them. Whatever I do, I know it won’t be enough to repay them. But they’re not the kind of men who expect to be repaid for their goodness. 

Again, thank you USU Eastern. I know I’ve overlooked some people, and for that I apologize. There are just too many of you to mention in one story. This has been a great place for me. I absolutely love this college. It has given me an opportunity to grow. I honestly can say I gave it my all here. I have been running low on energy lately but I will not stop until my last day in Price. I hope this will only be temporary separation. Maybe I will be back someday and be able to help students in the way that I have been helped. I hope that’s the case.

Life is good. Life as a Golden Eagle has been even better.

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