Two years ago, I sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and said I wanted to write for The Phoenix Sports section. That week I had a meeting with the co-sports editor at the time, Nader
Issa, and was assigned my first story: a preview of the women’s soccer team.
Now, at the end of my sophomore year, I’m sure that article wasn’t very good. But four semesters later, I’ve written dozens of stories and I think I might be a little bit better at this writing thing.
I wouldn’t have been able to get better without my bosses, Madeline Kenney
and Nader. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but they were on ESPN last year. While Nader and Maddie taught me how to write a decent MVC recap, they also showed me that no one at Loyola is
above criticism and that this publication can actually make a difference.
I also wouldn’t have gotten better without my co-assistant sports editor Dylan Conover. Even though he’s a fan of bad teams and is wrong about almost everything, my ability to defend a point of view wouldn’t be nearly as strong without trying to convince him Francisco Lindor is the face of the MLB.
But Dylan, Maddie and Nader are all graduating and my reign as sports editor is starting. My reign will be very similar to Maddie’s recent term. The Phoenix sports section will be run
with an iron fist. I’ll have my assistant editor hunt down any writer that misses a deadline or spells a name wrong.
Nader and Maddie might have been pretty strict; they once had a meeting just to yell at us for a writer spelling Urbana-Champaign wrong. But that was just to teach us not to mess up all
the time and be better.
This year for The Phoenix I covered the World Series, the NCAA men’s soccer tournament and the MVC men’s basketball tournament. Next year, I hope I’ll get to cover all of those things and more.
I’m going to take what I’ve learned from Nader and Maddie and continue to pass that onto my writers, which means I’m going to teach them how to be good reporters and ask tough questions. Even if that means you get called out in a press conference sometimes.
Next year, I’m going to have a meeting with a nervous first-year student in the Damen Student Center and I’m going to assign him a story and it’s going to be bad.
But it’s OK that it will be bad, because two years later that writer might end up
being the sports editor.