Truth be told, I don’t know how to start this column. I’ve written dozens and dozens of columns before, most of which have been about sports. But this column is different, and I know exactly why: it’s the last column I’ll ever write as editor in chief of The Carroll News.
I started writing at age 15 after my summer baseball team won the league title. After the win, I went home and wrote a recap of the game full with stats and details. I had never written something just for fun before; I was more used to writing book reports and essays. But for the first time I can remember, I actually enjoyed writing this recap, even if it was horribly written, which it was. I actually think that recap is still in one of the drawers at our computer desk back home in Rochester, N.Y.
Entering my sophomore year of high school, I needed to sign up for an elective class. Perhaps remembering the recap I wrote, my Mom encouraged me to sign up for Journalism. At the time, I had no idea what the hell the word “journalism” meant, but I ignored that fact and signed up for the class anyways.
I remember my teacher, Mr. Hogan, telling us the first week that we needed to cover our first story. “Cover a story? What the hell does that mean?” Sitting in front of my computer with a blank stare, I immediately wondered what kind of mess I had gotten myself into.
Fast-forward two years later to my senior year, and I was the sports editor of my high school paper, The Lampion, and had found a passion for writing. Who knew that Mom’s advice would work out so well?
When the time came for college, my school decision came down to a few different deciding factors, but the chance to write for a college newspaper definitely was at the top of that priority list.
While still a senior in high school, I visited John Carroll on a few different occasions to see a friend who went here. Before the visits, John Carroll wasn’t even on my radar. After the visits, which consisted of my first experiences with college parties and the college lifestyle, I started to develop an attraction for JCU. After officially visiting, I knew this was the place for me. But what sold me on John Carroll more than anything wasn’t necessarily the strong academics or the parties on my visits, but rather it was The Carroll News. I knew The Carroll News had a strong reputation and offered the opportunity to get involved immediately. I was sold.
When I arrived on campus as a freshman in the fall of 2010, I immediately wanted to get involved. I started out as the beat reporter for the volleyball team, and was then promoted to assistant sports editor and eventually sports editor by the end of my freshman year. One of the highlights of freshman year, and my career with The Carroll News, was the opportunity to interview ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter the day before my 19th birthday on May 2, 2011.
Throughout my two years as sports editor, not only did I interview Schefter, but also former Browns QB Colt McCoy, former NFL MVP Rich Gannon (my favorite NFL player ever), Yankees beat writer and JCU alum Erik Boland, basketball author Roland Lazenby and ESPN SportsCenter anchor Jay Crawford – all in that order. I think of those six interviews as my “big six,” in reference to my lucky number.
After two years as sports editor, I was elected as editor in chief of The Carroll News on March 14, 2013. Less than a month later on April 11, 2013, I officially took over as EIC of the same newspaper that first sold me on coming to JCU. Now, almost a full year since my first day on the job, my tenure as EIC is over. By the time you read this, I’ll no longer be directly connected to The Carroll News for the first time in my college career.
My time with The Carroll News has been an absolute privilege and a dream come true. I didn’t earn a dollar for the hundreds and hundreds of hours I dedicated, but money pales in comparison to the lifetime of fond memories that I’ll always look back on.Thinking back to my first days in Journalism class in high school, I never in a million years could have imagined all of the opportunities, experiences and relationships I’d gain from working for The Carroll News. I really couldn’t be more thankful.
With a little over a month left as a college student, I’m going to spend the next few weeks catching up on lost sleep from working numerous deadline nights; I’m going to take time to breathe, smile and fully soak in everything I might have missed while writing columns or editing articles over the years; and mostly I’m just going to enjoy my last days of being a college kid.