Here it’s my first week as Daily News sports editor, and I’m already playing from behind.
Having accepted the new position on Monday, transitioning from features editor and filling the vacancy left by my dear friend and longtime and much-respected Sports Editor Bruce Bentley, I’ve had to “hit the line hard” and catch up with teams, local athletic directors and coaches as high school fall sports season is already upon us.
Let me tell you something — I’m loving it.
I’ve been The Daily News features editor for the past seven years, which gave me great experience in all aspects of community journalism. I also had a few chances to help out the sports department, covering games and taking photos here and there, giving me a little taste of the local sports scene.
Now it’s what I get to do every day and — don’t tell my bosses — it doesn’t seem like work at all. And that’s because I love sports and I am enjoying what the local communities, schools and teams have to offer.
I am originally from St. Ignace, a small town in the U.P., where pretty much all local sports there is on a small scale. So forgive me if I’m still in awe of Legacy Field, jealous of Belding’s marching band and being fascinated by the many special-themed events like the “Pink Out” cancer awareness games most schools here do and the awesome “Salute Our Soldiers” football game between Carson City-Crystal and Vestaburg that I’m looking forward to covering.
I have a vision for our sports coverage that I hope to implement once I’m settled in the big chair as sports editor. That vision includes some fun, new additions to the sports page that I hope not only provides more entertainment for our readers, but more insight of our great student-athletes and sports programs.
With the support of The Daily News staff, Sports Assistance Editor Chip Burch and multimedia guru and Senior Staff Writer Cory Smith in particular, I hope to bring these new ideas to fruition soon.
My column title, “Hit The Line Hard,” is a tribute to U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, who, like myself, was a huge college football fan. He often related football to life, this quote being one of them, in which he explains one should play hard and work hard and “don’t foul and don’t shirk.” It’s sound advice that even student-athletes (as well as adults) today can and should relate to.
As you will notice soon enough, I often try to bring some nostalgia to whatever I cover. I’m enamored with sports history and history in general, because I believe it’s important to know where you come from and how certain things and programs were started because then you can appreciate the present and future more.
Thus, as I settle into this new position as sports editor, I will be learning the past, catching up with the present and hopefully be where I want to be as far as my vision goes for our sports coverage in the future.
I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone in the communities we cover and will do my best to highlight our many great student-athletes and programs.
So, as I get up to speed on all things local sports, please bare with me, please don’t hesitate to reach out and get to know me and, if you feel comfortable enough, just call me “Scoop.” Then I know I’m actually making friends and making progress as your Daily News sports editor.