03/04/2020 – Co-worker memories will last -Dan Bechtold

Dan Bechtold, Editor

This is a hard column for me write.

Colton Hall, my co-worker and friend has moved on to a new adventure in his life.

Colton has accepted a position as a multimedia journalist at KNBN NewsCenter1 in Rapid City.

He started his new job on Monday, Feb. 24 and his last day at the Winner Advocate was Friday, Feb. 21.

That Friday was hard day for me since Colton and I had grown so close over the past nine months.

I had hoped he would have worked at the newspaper a little longer. We had made plans to cover the state wrestling and state basketball tournaments together.

It would be a moment for Colton to experience the joy of covering another state tournament. We had already covered the state football championship.

Colton arrived at the Winner Advocate during the start of the baseball season and we spent a lot of time at Leahy Bowl taking pictures.

But it was that kind of getting to know each other period.

I feel this spring and summer the two of us would have had blast covering baseball because we are so in tune with each other.

I cannot fault him for wanting to advance in his career path. I knew when he arrived we would not have a long time together.

I just did not know when it would happen. A job opportunity found Colton and he grabbed at the chance. I am happy for him.

I am so pleased this young man found his way to the Winner Advocate for his first job right out of college.

We were sort of the odd couple. Colton is 238 pound former defensive end at Presentation College in Aberdeen. This 23 year old played college football for four years.

Me, well I am a 72 year old, soon to be a 73 year old, 150 pound, non muscular editor.

Though there is 50 years age difference between the two of us we just clicked. And as we worked together more and more that bond between the two of us got stronger.

Colton loves to write, he is diehard Minnesota Vikings fan and has a passion for talking and covering sports.

He was so excited when the Winner football team defeated St. Thomas More. His excitement continued as Winner made it all the way to the state championship.

The two of us went to Brookings to cover the state tile game. He was in seventh heaven because he never had a chance to cover a team playing for a state championship.

Colton brought new and fresh ideas to the Winner newspaper. He suggested we start an athlete of the week for both Winner and Colome.

We had pictures in both the printed paper and he also did a video on each athlete. Colton did the videos and put them on line.

He was very good at doing videos.

He also gave the Winner Advocate more of a presence on social media. He posted stories and pictures on Facebook and Twitter.

He also did the weekly webpage.

One of the biggest things Colton did was take a lot of pressure off of me. I did not have to do everything and I could share the load.

He was very willing to accept that responsibility.

On a busy Monday when he knew I was swamped with work he would say: “What can I do to help you Dan.” That was so much appreciated by me.

During his stay in Winner, Colton covered the town of Colome and did good job. He covered football, volleyball, girls and boys basketball.

In addition, he covered Colome Consolidated School Board and the Colome city council.

While covering football, volleyball and basketbcall games, he would write live tweets in addition to taking pictures.

When he was not covering a Colome game, he would help me cover Winner sporting events. He would do live tweets of the games.

In addition writing and photography, he was very big on social media and gave the Winner Advocate a presence on all platforms such as Facebook, Twitter.

Aside from the Winner Advocate, Colton did a sports podcast. He started it when he was a senior in college.

It was called he Sports Brief Podcast. The podcast was hosted by Colton with is co-host Tristin who lives in Vermillion. They would often have special guests and talk about all aspects of sports from the NFL to pro and college basketball.

Colton was so knowledgeable in all aspects of national sports

What am I going to miss about Colton:
•Our Saturday morning football breakfasts
•Our Friday lunches
•Our random, spur of the moment evening supper meals
•Our collaboration on picking the athlete of the week
•Working together to put out a great newspaper
•Our talks about life and leaning his goals and dreams
•His strong back and arms to lift the heavy grocery insert boxes each week
•Our Wednesday mornings putting news and photos on the web page.

But most important I am going to miss the kind of person that Colton is today.

He was kind, polite, respectful, hard working and just a great friend.

Colton, know from the bottom of my heart I appreciated you more than you will ever know.

Go out and do great things.

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