Honored for doing what I love

Franklin County inducts sportswriter into its Hall of Fame

By Linda Younkin Published:

In July 1981, when I interviewed for a sports writing position at The State Journal, I was asked what my career plans were beyond Frankfort.

I believe I said, though it’s been so long ago I’m a little fuzzy on the details, that if I got the job I’d probably stay at The State Journal for two or three years and move to a larger newspaper.

Nearly 33 years later and here I am, still in Frankfort.

And I couldn’t be happier.

I’m now covering the sporting events of children whose parents were high school athletes I covered when I first came to town.

It’s a privilege to be part of these families’ lives, to record a little bit of their history.

It’s a job where you don’t hear a lot of feedback about how you’re doing, and that’s OK with me. I do my job the best I can, and I don’t expect constant praise. I’m just doing what I’m supposed to do.

I’m just fortunate I’m also doing what I love to do.

Last summer I was selected to throw out the first pitch for the East Frankfort Kiwanis Invitational baseball tournament.

On Sunday I was inducted into the Franklin County High School Hall of Fame during the school’s graduation ceremony.

I guess there’s something to be said for longevity.

Both honors were completely unexpected, and after the initial surprise left me feeling humbled and blessed. I say I don’t need constant praise and I mean it, but knowing there are people who appreciate your work is a reward all its own.

I was one of six inductees Sunday, the other five all being graduates of FCHS — Debra Hensley, 1971; Mike Strange, 1967; Brian Janeway, 1979; Ben Zimmerman Jr., 1982; and John Vander Meer, 1980.

As students walked across the stage Sunday to receive their diplomas, I tried to keep track of how many of them I have interviewed.

It seemed fitting that I was inducted in the same class as Ben. His senior year was my first year working at The State Journal, and I covered him when he was the Franklin County baseball coach.

Ben is now the principal at Beechwood High School, and he reminded me Franklin County will be playing football at Beechwood this fall.

I know what I’ll be doing that night.

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  • Congratulations Linda.  You are definitely a credit to your profession - plus, you're always very courteous and do your work with a smile on your face.  I'm a FHS guy, and I hope the Flyers beat the crap out of Beechwood (and I look forward to reading your article about the game)!