Matt Van Winkle’s Senior Column

Four years ago this summer, I would have never imagined that I would be where I am today. After my 8th grade year, my parents told me we were moving to Ames, Iowa from where we currently had lived for the past 15 years in San Jose, California. This came as a huge shock to me. I didn’t know what to think. My aunt and uncle lived in Ames but I had never been there or seen pictures of it. I moved to Ames thinking my house would be in the middle of a huge cornfield with a few people here and there, but much to my surprise, there were actually lots of people living here. My first day at Ames High, I had no clue where any of my classes were and I didn’t know anybody. I went out for the cross-country team and met some really great people. I left a lot of close friends in California, but met a lot more here in Ames. While here at Ames High, I have participated in cross-country, freshman basketball, I-Ball and baseball. I am very grateful to have met so many amazing people here. This is an amazing city full of great people. Even after the first day of living here I noticed how everybody is just a lot friendlier. All the time people ask me, “Why would you move to Iowa?” Sure living in California was a great part of my life, but I feel my life is much better here in Iowa. There are endless memories from high school that I will always remember. Fantasy football drafts in my basement, March Madness tournaments on XBOX, van rides all over Iowa for baseball in the summer, hot dog eating contests on the 4th of July. And as I think back to the past four years of my life, it leads me to thinking what the next four years will bring. I am as excited as all my fellow seniors to be graduating soon. This will also be my last summer of baseball which I have loved and played since I was a kid. Everybody should come out and support us this summer down at Brookside Park. I have a few thank yous to mention. Thanks to my parents and brother for supporting me my whole life, all my friends I have gotten to know, my girlfriend Jessica for always being there for me, all of the coaches I have had for their time and instruction. I will never forget the memories I have had while here at Ames High.