An entire year has come and gone since I started on my sports writing adventure. Considering I had never done anything in the journalism field before, let alone write an article, it was safe to say I was 100% clueless. I started this job just weeks before the opening of football season, so I didn’t have much time to learn and prepare. Fortunately, Jason, my boss, was at my side teaching me the ins and outs of how to take the perfect picture while my editor Tammy was there giving me pointers on proper language usage.
Both of them most definitely had their work cut out for them. Slowly but surely the reins were released and it was sink or swim time. I’ve never been one to shy away from a conversation, so I knew that part of my job would be a piece of cake. My entire K-12 schooling career consisted of getting my desk moved to the corner of the classroom or being sent to the hall due to my lack of ability to shut my mouth.
My fifth-grade teacher once told my parents at a conference that I would talk to a rock if I was sitting next to it. So because of my superhuman power of chattiness, I knew talking to complete strangers would not be a problem. Ironically, the problem lied in the picture taking. Up until a few months ago, I was driving Jason absolutely bat crazy because I would be sitting back away from the action to get my photo. “Get up in the shot,” he’d say. Slowly but surely I was able to hop on in there and I now feel completely capable of getting the job done.
Since the start of my journey, I have met the most amazing people. I am beyond blessed to be working with a long list of coaches and players from the Mansfield, Hackett, and Waldron areas. I have never met more dedicated and selfless people, who are only in it to see everyone else around them succeed. If it wasn’t for the plethora of coaches I work with, then my job would literally be non-existent.
For the past year, these coaches have spent day and night, Monday through Sunday, answering my calls, texts, emails and enduring my face-to-face encounters. They are always smiling and bending over backwards to answer my questions, send a picture or answer my stupid sports questions. They continually assisted me in understanding the game. I am the lucky one because I get to work with wonderful people who have the same goals as I do and that is to bring positive and encouraging support and attention to our small town sports.
Additionally, my job would not be possible without the help from the players. Although at times I was greeted with the look of, “why is this weird lady talking to me,” once the players understood why I was talking to them, they always came around to help in the process of getting my articles out. From track, cross country, cheer, football, and basketball to baseball, softball, golf, bowling, and archery the one thing that has really melted my heart was the manners and sense of protection that these kids possess when a non-athlete is in their territory.
Most people don’t realize how scary being on the field or on the court as a bystander can be. In the stands, you’re nice and cozy enjoying your snacks and watching the game. On the ground its fast-paced action flying all around you. More times than I can count, these kids have literally shielded me from getting smacked in the face with a basketball or football. Players would do a ninja style matrix move just to stop themselves from laying me out flat on the field or court.
As season two is fast approaching, I look back on all of the friendships and memories I have created and look forward to the many more just waiting to happen. I am forever in debt to the coaches, players, and parents that keep me in a job and for the support from the Mansfield, Hackett, and Waldron communities. I absolutely LOVE what I do and hope to keep it up for many years to come!