I can’t say for certain that everyone reading this has any clue who I am. Even weekly readers of The Echo may gloss over sports, and gloss over who’s writing certain stories.
But, for the last three years, I’ve coordinated this page. And now, I’ve coordinated my last page 8 (or 10) of this award-winning student newspaper.
I haven’t taken much creative liberty in my three years here, so a story like this isn’t a common occurrence on our sports page. Occasionally, I’d undergo a “Mark’s Remarks” column, where I examined a larger topic within sports with the lens of a Christian student journalist, but other than that, readers haven’t heard much from me.
However, being a sports editor for The Echo has been such a formative experience in my life. From the first weeks of freshman year where I was thrown into the fire as an inexperienced sports editor that had to quite literally learn every single aspect of the job, to now, where I look forward to stepping into the Co-Editor in Chief role next year and continuing to produce content for this school and this newspaper.
To the athletes and coaches that I’ve interviewed –– thank you. The special part about working with this athletic department is that you never have to worry about a difficult interview or someone dodging your requests. People have been timely in responding and honest in interviews.
I’ve been able to write some really enjoyable stories because of this. Interviews never felt intimidating (beyond maybe when I was a wee freshman), and it allowed me to broach topics and chat longer than I had anticipated. Even my story this week on senior pitcher Noah Huseman was birthed from an interview that went about 30 minutes longer than I anticipated, but made the story and experience of interviewing so much better.
To all those who have worked as staff writers, photographers, designers or copy editors for the section –– thank you. 95% of the work is done by these people. I just organize it and write.
And finally, I have to thank Echo leadership for helping guide me through this process, because it's certainly been a process, and I’m still learning.
This year’s Co-editors in chief, Holly Gaskill and Ellie Tiemens in particular did such a tremendous job of modeling the way a student newspaper should be managed. I hope I’m able to be half the leader they were.
Also, my freshman year editor-in chief, Justin Chapman, was vital in showing me the ropes of covering Taylor athletics and how each week’s page should look.
Taylor sports is a treasure to cover, and I won’t forget it any time soon.