Almost a year ago I packed up my life in Pittsburgh, put it in the back of a U-Haul and headed northwest here in Youngstown for about an hour and a half.
I went from being a sports reporter at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review to running my own sports department here at the Tribune Chronicle and Vindicator. Talk about a big change, but it was one I was ready for and always envisioned.
Growing up I wanted to be the next Chris Berman or Stuart Scott on ESPN’s camera, but as I got older I realized how important local journalism was to places like the Mahoning Valley. Growing up I loved seeing my name or photo in the newspaper and I wanted to pass that feeling on to students throughout my journalism career.
That being said, the past year has been a blurry one as my staff and I have tried to get as close to that goal as possible.
When I started here, Warren JFK’s baseball team was just clinching their state championships, the Scrappers were in the middle of their MLB Draft League season one, and I was just starting my first season of high school football here in the Valley .
That freshman year of high school athletics turned out to be a memorable one.
We got to watch the Ursuline soccer team and the Crestview boys soccer team run to the state championship games in the fall while Maplewood’s Caleigh Richards clinched her second straight cross-country title.
The winter was just as exciting as we watched several basketball teams run to the regional tournament and I personally watched two wrestlers, South Range’s Ray Cmil and Chalker’s Landen Duncan, get their shot at fame as both were on the verge of victory stood winning a state championship in Columbus. What an experience it was. The Raiders also brought home a team wrestling title this year, which was fun.
Saturday marked the end of the spring sports season. None of our baseball or softball teams have made it to Akron, but several teams have brought home district titles this season, which is an achievement in itself.
Let’s not forget our track and field champions either. Richards, Canfield’s Nick Plant, McDonald’s Megan Hipple and the Valley Christian 4×100 relay team consisting of RaQuan Bell, Phillip Spradley, Kwane Austin and Marquez Gibbs all brought home state titles from Ohio State.
It’s been a fun first year here in the Mahoning Valley, but it’s also turned out to be a year of growth for us here at the Sports Division of the Tribune Chronicle and Vindicator.
Aside from sports reporter Brian Yauger, we were all new to the area. That meant catching up on things the previous staff used to do, understanding the weekly things they used to do and the annual events they used to cover, while still putting our own spin on it. So thank you for being patient with us as we figured out what you, our readers, wanted.
With this first year under our belt, I promise you that the best of our reporting is ahead and we have big plans for fall 2022 and beyond.
We’ve already started planning for our annual football preview booklet, which will be released in August, and we’re also considering how we can improve our coverage even further this year.
Year 1 on Tribune Chronicle and Vindicator was fun, but Year 2 will be even better. I hope you will enjoy the journey with us.
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