The state basketball and baseball tournaments are a grind to cover, but they're always the best times of the year.
Joey Fosko helped to make them the best times.
Joey, a long-time sports writer for the Paducah Sun, was in town just a couple of weeks ago for the first few days of the state baseball tournament at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.
He was there to cover 1st Region champ Lone Oak, but he was also there to talk about anything and everything that had to do with Kentucky high school sports, to commiserate over the struggles of the newspaper industry, and to share laughs in the press box with his friends and colleagues.
It was the same thing every winter with the All "A" Classic and Sweet Sixteen basketball tournaments. Joey was always at both events, talking hoops, providing the inside scoop on high school sports in western Kentucky, and sharing laughs.
I'm going to miss the conversations and the scoops, but most of all I'm going to miss the laughs shared with a good friend.
Joey Fosko died over the weekend from a heart attack. He was just 46.
Joey overcame serious health issues in recent years, and was looking good and feeling good. His sense of humor was never better.
He loved covering high school sports, something he had done for the Paducah Sun for more than 25 years. He had the respect of the coaches and players he covered, and he most certainly had the respect of his friends in the newspaper business.
Anytime I needed the low-down on what was going on at any high school in western Kentucky, I'd call Joey. Paducah Tilghman football? Marshall County basketball? Lone Oak baseball? Joey was the go-to guy.
Joey Fosko will be missed, especially when those basketball and baseball tournaments roll around next school year.
But Joey Fosko won't be forgotten by sports fans in western Kentucky, or by his pals on press row and in the press box.
Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com.