Archive for Wednesday, May 10, 2000

Meet the new sportswriter for newspaper

May 10, 2000

It had been three years since I'd gone to a softball game before I attended Tonganoxie's game against DeSoto last Tuesday.

College, girlfriends and other important things have kept me from living and breathing sports as I did when I was younger. But now college is almost over, my girlfriend is becoming more my fiancvery day, and I was hired by The Mirror to cover Tonganoxie sporting events. I now am able to let sports back into my life.

Now I'm a sports writer, and my newspaper is actually going to pay me to watch sports. And I can already tell that Tonganoxie is going to be a great town to work in. The athletes I've met so far seem enthusiastic and dedicated to each other, the teams play like teams, the coaches care, and the fans are great.

I had a wonderful time at Thursday's softball games. Seeing the young athletes with their energy and emotion reminded me of my own love of sports and of my quickly fading childhood.

A funny thing happened at the game. Sitting in the stands, I thought I smelled a hot dog. I don't know if they were selling them at the concession stand or if I was just imagining the smell, but it gave me flashbacks of little league baseball and a glimpse at the true meaning of sports.

In this day of pampered, whiny, over-paid athletes, it was nice to see kids playing their hearts out and parents in the stands re-living their youths for an afternoon.

It made me feel good about life, to see the parents' pride at seeing their children do well, to see the children's happiness at knowing that no matter how badly they play, at least one person in the stands thinks they are the game's MVP.

At the softball game, I realized that authentic competition and true sportsmanship are not found in the commercialized, glamorized, high-profile world of professional athletics, but in America's own back yard. And I'm happy I've been chosen to write about Tonganoxie's part in that.

I know it won't be easy. I went to school with The Mirror's previous sports writer, Matt Friedrichs, and I know he is a good reporter. Besides that, Matt has a friendly personality that I know the Tonganoxie sports community took to. He left some big shoes to fill, but I believe I'm ready for the task.

I'm 24 years old, and I graduated from high school in 1995. After a semester as an accounting major, I pondered my sanity, then switched to journalism.

Since then I've worked for The Butler County Community College Lantern and The University Daily Kansan.

I've written about everything from football to the police department. I've been a designer, a photographer, a copy editor and a columnist which is good because I'll be required to handle all of these assignments for The Mirror.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions about what you would like to see on the sports pages, please let me know.

Just call me at The Mirror office, 845-2222, or drop by 520 E. Fourth Street. If you see me on the street and just want to chat, I'll be glad to talk with you.

I look forward to covering sports here in Tonganoxie and to meeting each of you.

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