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Goodbye, Lake Geneva, it's been real, it's been fun

Former sports editor leaves for hometown paper

Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun sat down with Ramczyk during the grand opening of Ryan Braun's Tavern and Grill in 2010. Lisa Seiser.

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August 20, 2013 | 03:28 PM
Shaquille O'Neal. Barry Sanders. Bo Jackson.

Heck, even Jackie Robinson.

All took the Sports world by storm with their inspiring stories and phenomenal talent.

Mike Ramczyk doesn't hold a candle to any of those guys, but much like them, he eventually left the job he loved.

OK, all jokes aside, it is with a heavy heart that I inform you all Aug. 20 was my last day as Sports editor of the Lake Geneva Regional News.

I have accepted the Sports editor position at my hometown newspaper, the Burlington Standard Press, owned by Southern Lakes Newspapers.

I will only be 12 miles down Highway 36, and I will be back to the area just about every weekend (my wife's parents live in Lyons).

Thank you so much for making my time in Lake Geneva such an awesome experience, I appreciate your support, hospitality, honesty, help, love and even your hate.

Words cannot begin to express how much I have learned from not only my colleagues but also the community.

I learned some parents will go to any length to get their kid's name in the paper.

I learned Badger has probably the nicest Sports facilities in the state.

I learned Big Foot actually has a statue of Chief Big Foot in front of the school.

I learned Williams Bay rallies around its athletes like no other tiny community does.

And I learned Faith Christian is a hot bed for basketball like you wouldn't believe.

The people at Badger, Big Foot, Williams Bay and Faith Christian showed me so much love and respect over the years, and I am a better person and professional for having known all of you.

Thank you a million times over.

Even if you didn't like me or had a gripe with me, your comment made my work and the paper better. That's what it's all about.

I'm sure I will see you all again, but please make sure to get the word out and tell your friends about the Lake Geneva Regional News.

Support your hometown paper!

I will miss each and every one of you, but all the great times we've shared will live forever in my mind and heart.

Here's a shout-out to my wonderful co-workers and my sources:

To John Halverson: You made me a better writer, you always had my back and you constantly encouraged me to strive to do better. Thanks for always believing in my work and giving me more freedom than any journalist has ever had.

To Robert Ireland: We didn't always see eye to eye, but our differences complemented each other. Minutes after receiving a solid layout tip, I would fire back with an unnecessary rap fact. Our paths will cross again, and I can't wait to beat you in fantasy football.

To Chris Schultz: You are one heck of a wedding present-giver. Ladies and gentlemen, invite this man to your wedding! Ha, but seriously, I learned a lot about the industry in general and handling sources. My desk neighbor, I'll never forget our counseling sessions.

To Jade Bolack: You are a young whipper snapper with an awesome passion for journalism. I've always enjoyed your stories, especially your columns. The sky is the limit, and I'll miss working with you.

To Joy Kowald and Sarah Schultz: You two are creative geniuses, and I loved sharing ideas and sometimes butting heads over orphans and widows (industry jargon). Keep fighting for big photo packages and pages and never be afraid to speak your minds. I learned a lot from both of you creatively, and I will take it all with me.

To Michael Reinsissel, Jessica Franzene, Sue Hinske, Jacki Larisch, Mike Coolidge, Duane Hove, Glenda Hill and Phil Bonyata: Though I didn't work with you directly for the most part, I'll never forget our encounters. Michael always had a good horse story, Jessica made the room roll with a sarcastic quip and Sue is an amazing person and an even better golfer.

Jacki, keep up the hard work and friendly smile. Mike Coolidge, I wish I could be an AD, you are lucky! Duane always made me laugh, and Glenda, you are a sweet lady. I will miss your delectable dishes.

Phil, big man, we will once again battle each other to the death in fantasy football. Thanks for encouraging my photography and videography, and I'll never forget seeing Tony Romo's unbelievably attractive wife with you at the Tony Romo Camp. You are a true talent, and I know Reel Life TV will be huge sooner than later.

To my sources, including the readers, coaches, parents and kids: You are the reason I do this. Your feats, whether big or small, are truly extraordinary and deserve attention in the community newspaper. To me, a 50-yard touchdown pass can be just as interesting as a local man's triumph over cancer.

Life is made up of stories, and I could write an article on each and every one of you that I've had the pleasure of meeting. I don't have time or space to do that, but know my heart is in the right place and I've enjoyed our interactions, good or bad.

I love the Lake Geneva area, and I will miss it dearly. This will always be my second home.

Meet me at Champs for a drink the next time I'm in town, and I'll challenge you to a free-throw shooting contest. Heck, I may even let you win.

Love you all and can't wait to visit, probably this weekend,


Mike Ramczyk


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