another term for goodbye.
"he whispered a fond adieu"
|Yup. I'm gone.|
The 2014-15 St. Mary's school year has begun and for the first time in seven years, I am officially not apart of it.
Previously in St. Mary's Athletics, in case you missed it, I announced at Awards Night I would not return as Athletic Director.
I've kept it pretty low key, partly because I didn't want to answer questions about why I was leaving, and also because I didn't want it to look like I needed or wanted the attention. But yet, I am writing this blog post. Go figure.
Why now? My best guess at an answer is to officially close this "Bryan Cheung Era" of St. Mary's Athletics.
FLASHBACK SOUND FX
It was a morning in late August of 2007. I wore my favorite blue dress shirt, tied a tie (or my Dad did), and gelled my hair. I had the first day of school jitters all over again.
I pulled up to the white zone at Our Lady of Guadalupe on 910 Broadway. I entered through the office as a faculty member. Crazy stuff for someone who graduated from that same site eight years prior.
Mrs. Ng, the principal at the time, walked me towards the classrooms. She introduced me to this student who said good morning to me. And from that point forward, it pretty much changed my life.
I had coached at St. Mary's and had a small sense of how the athletic turnout was, and I made it my mission to get as many students out there playing as possible.
The first big milestone was Cross Country 2007. We had arguably the most runners of any school in CYO. Grade after grade, boy after girl, you all showed up and ran. And I am pretty sure not too many of you ran the year before. But you came out and participated. From that point forward, I knew I was going to be part of something special.
100 different teams, three new sports and 11 championships later, it's time to say goodbye.
So many memories, people slipping and falling at Cameron House, the All-Star Sundays, the countless practices and games, highlights, Awards Nights and of course Epic Video. All great times that I will never forget and times that I will reminisce about on a daily basis.
And like I share with every graduating class or team that I have coached...Sure, championships are nice. But in the end, you remember the relationships you've made, the times you joked around at practice, running laps, consoling each other when something goes wrong. Those memories will last the longest.
One of my favorite things about my time at St. Mary's as A.D. was watching the alumni see each other at events. Seeing parents become friends because their kids play on the same team. Going out to games and seeing support from students from other classes or graduates watching a game that they have no connection to other than the fact they once wore that same jersey.
To answer the basic question, why did I decide to leave?
It hit me one night when I sat at my computer chair in the spring and felt like the time was right. Nothing negative happened that led me to my decision. And by no means was this an easy decision to make. Moving on is pretty much changing my entire life because as much as I did outside of working for the school, St. Mary's, for better or worse, was my life for the last seven years.
At the end of the day, I felt like I gave all of me (cue music) to the school I could give at this point in my life, and it was time to move on to the next chapter.
I apologize to the students and families that I could not see you or your child all the way through 8th grade. But know that I will be there in spirit and look forward to visiting when I can.
As corny and cliche as this sounds...without you, there is no Bryan Cheung, no participation and no great seven years. All the parents, students, faculty members, friends who have supported the program from day one, I cannot thank you enough for all the contributions.
I encourage everybody with ties to St. Mary's to continue to support the school and the Athletics program. Despite the rocky roads, in the bottom of everyone's hearts, we all know how special St. Mary's is to each and every one of us.
What becomes of the blog? I might pop in from time to time, but I hope coaches and whoever is in charge continues to post updates on our great teams.
TBH, which is to be honest, I'm so proud of what we were able to build and I find it hard to believe that there will be anything in my lifetime professionally that will ever top this golden era of St. Mary's Athletics.
In closing...If I was able to impact your life, in a good way hopefully, to become the person you are, then I'm proud to have been part of that growth. It's been my pleasure and honor to have served as your Athletic Director for the past seven years.
Like I said at Awards Night, you all have no clue how much you mean to me and how much more you have done for me than I have ever done for you.
Don't be a stranger, I'm not hard to find. And someday, we shall meet again.
And of course, thanks for participating.