Senior Farewell: Andrew Finley

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by Andrew Finley, Assistant Sports Editor

My college journey has been an absolute rollercoaster ride. From struggling and growing at Grossmont College, writing for their newspaper, experiencing God’s grace firsthand as I transferred to SDSU during a pandemic and finishing my undergrad classes while working for The Daily Aztec; it’s been a lot. 

It’s been a lot of work, but it’s a journey I wouldn’t trade for anything, and there is no way I could have done it alone. I’d like to take this opportunity and platform to show my appreciation to those who have been with me on this journey. They’re the real MVPs. 

First and foremost, I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for his unrelenting faithfulness and unconditional love. My life has changed forever since getting to know You for the first time in 2018, and all the glory goes to You. To the one who helped me find Him, thank you, and God bless you. 

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for teaching me to never give up, and to always finish what I start. Thank you for being my biggest fans and support system for everything my entire life. I love you. 

To my brothers Will, Kevin, and Cole, you guys are my best friends in the whole world. I couldn’t imagine life without you, and you’ll always mean the world to me. 

To Dank Memes/The A-Team, you guys are the smartest people I have ever met. The friendship we’ve shared since high school and beyond is something I cherish deeply, and I think is so cool. Let’s keep the memes rolling. 

To my Winuhs; CJ, Eder, Berm, even though we don’t see each other often, I know you guys have always been there for me, and your guys’ love and support is real. You guys are like brothers to me. 

To Coach Baldwin, and the Ramona football program, you have truly shaped me into the man that I am today. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to grow the program that helped make me the man I am today, and I can’t wait to get started as the head coach for lower levels. Go Dawgs! 

To my football kids; my athletes, thank you for motivating me to be my absolute best every single day. You guys mean more to me than you know. I’m so blessed to be your coach, and I’m so excited to see where life takes you.

To Grossmont College’s Jeanette Calo and the Media Communications program there, thank you for teaching me how to be a better student and journalist. My time there truly helped me grow as a person and student, and, although I left campus pretty abruptly because of a pandemic, I left with fond memories of being better than I was when I got there. That’s special to me. Thank you. 

To Catlan Nguyen and Trinity Bland, thank you two for running the ship that is The Daily Aztec. It’s a tough task and a thankless job, but through all of it, you have both inspired me to be a better person and a stronger leader.

To the rest of the editorial board of The Daily Aztec, you’re my newsroom family, and some of my best friends on campus. We kicked butt and revived the print edition of our student newspaper. We should all be proud of that. 

To Kyle Betz and Luis Lopez, thank you for setting the example for how the DA Sports section should be run. I know it wasn’t easy to do over Zoom, but you two killed it, and motivated me to want to be an editor. You two are going to make it big in life; I have faith in that. 

To Jason Freund, thank you for throwing my name out there to get me started in the DA, and for being my running-mate this semester. You are a multi-talented person as a journalist, and in life. Have confidence in yourself, and you’ll make a name for yourself. 

To my sports section, thank you for your contributions to the DA and to the sports section. You all have grown so much, and your loyalty to the sports section means so much to me. I don’t care what anyone says, you guys are rockstars, we’re the best section in the DA, and no one covers the home team like we do. Keep on raising the bar like you always do. 

Finally, to the ones who are no longer with us. 

Mr. Estrada, you are the reason I am able to have my voice heard in a newspaper. You taught me how to write effectively, you always pushed me to be better, and you sparked my love for journalism. I wish I could celebrate this graduation with you. 

Coach Foot, I never knew I would be a coach, but I love how much I have taken after you and your style of coaching. I’ll never forget your untraditional ways of teaching us the game of football, and your unorthodox leadership skills. You’re one of the best coaches I ever had. I’m so blessed we’re going to be friends forever. 

To my dogs, Jack and Hank, thank you for your unconditional love and loyalty. You were always there for me when I needed you, and you’re both very good boys. I miss you, and I can’t wait to see you again. 

Every morning when I wake up, and every night before I go to bed, I thank God for everything I am, everything I have, and everything I’m going to be and pray that His love would be the firm foundation for everything in my life. Everyday God has given me these people, and I truly believe they are that firm foundation I pray for every morning and night. 

I am so incredibly blessed to have y’all helping me through this journey, and I have full faith that you all will continue to be part of that foundation as I go through the rest of my life. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.