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Column: A sports reporter bids farewell to Hermiston

Staff writer Alexis Mansanarez is moving on to a new job.
By Alexis Mansanarez

Staff Writer

Published on July 10, 2018 4:37PM

Staff writer, Alexis Mansanarez, poses during one final stroll through Butte Park in Hermiston.

Photo courtesy of Bev Mansanarez

Staff writer, Alexis Mansanarez, poses during one final stroll through Butte Park in Hermiston.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect, if I’m being honest.

I knew that my first job out of college would most likely be in a small town, but moving from Seattle to Hermiston was ... a change to say the least. No more UberEats, no more Uber and definitely none of the convenience living in a big city can bring.

But something happened my very first day that sums up my entire 11 months here.

I was in the Starbucks drive-thru (of course) and when I pulled up to the window to pay for and grab my coffee, the barista told me the person ahead of my already took care of it. I was so happy I called my father to gloat about my free grande drip. I went on to tell him how something like that had never happened to me before, and that this town had made a good first impression.

The football state championship that followed didn’t hurt and the countless athletes, coaches, parents and fans I met along the way made my short stay here all the more special.

I want to thank you for letting a stranger into your town, your lives and the cherished sport community in Hermiston, Pendleton and all throughout Umatilla and Morrow county.

The memories, friends and experiences I have made and had in Hermiston will stay with me forever.

It was here where I was reminded day in and day out why I chose this crazy career. I smiled as teams, athletes and coaches hoisted trophies and celebrated championships and I was heartbroken when local teams came up just short of the postseason.

Throughout both counties, I was continually impressed with the talent and grit every single student possessed and as someone who didn’t play sports in high school, I was also constantly amazed by how much athleticism was on display.

Each game on different fields and inside different gyms, I was welcomed by kind coaches and talented athletes. I hope I did your stories justice, and I hope that whoever comes next will find the same joy I did in a city ‘where life is sweet.’


Alexis Mansanarez has been a sports reporter for the Hermiston Herald and East Oregonian since August 2017 and is leaving for a new job at the end of this week. She can be reached on Facebook (Alexis Mansanarez), Twitter (@almansanarez) and Instagram (@almansss).


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