Small town sports

In theories. I’m approaching an anniversary in my journalism career: 15 years as a small town sports reporter.

At times, when I think I’ve seen or written or photographed it all, something new comes up. But my excitement, and my enthusiasm, is dulled considerably in the past few years.

I’m thinking a variety of things have happened that has changed my outlook. Obviously, as you grow older, that youthful enthusiasm wanes. It gets replaced by… I’m not sure. It must be on a case by case basis. It’s perhaps my patience that has grown.

While in the Thumb, schools were sending multiple teams deep into the playoffs in multiple seasons. It wasn’t uncommon to make a big run into the regional tournament and there would be a few state quarterfinal berths, too. Going to a state tournament wasn’t out of the question.

Then it was onward to Wisconsin, and the schools there did well, too. Some teams made long journeys all the way to the state tournament. Sectional tournaments weren’t uncommon either.

Part of what I’m running into currently is that I have fewer schools to cover than I’ve had before. I’ve gone from 14 or so in Michigan’s Thumb to about 10 in Wisconsin to now I have barely seven. And of those seven, I personally cover about three and a half.

Part of what I’m running into is what I’m learning as my son, a three-sport athlete, continues to grow. We’ve been here since September 2011, so seeing the underpinnings of youth athletics in at least three sports, and several others, and how they help to feed the varsity programs, I believe I have an understanding of the hows and whys around here.

I don’t know if I will ever bring that youthful excitement I had before. There are reasons outside simply covering the high school sports scene for that, which I won’t be getting into here (more in a moment), as to why I’m not as jazzed up about the schools and teams that I cover. Does that mean I will do less of a job? No, I’m a professional. It’s more along the lines of I have a job to cover these kids and schools and communities, and I’ll do it.

I just don’t have the youthful exuberance to do it the way I did it before.

Aware of big brother. I wrote about this previously, so it just bears repeating. I know others out there are reading this. I know that those who read it are sometimes previous employers or readers or even current employers and readers.

When I first started this blog, it was a way for me to vent out frustrations. It isn’t that way any longer. Instead, because of the need to be tactful and aware of any future repercussions because of what can be written here, I’m shifting the focus to just things I think about, rambling thoughts that cross my mind that I want to flesh out in some writing. With a redesign that is now implemented, there’s going to be more images, more designs, more of what I enjoy to do.

And if anyone should read this, and wonder if I plan to scrub or alter or change what I wrote previously, I likely won’t. I’ll be sure to make a note if I do.

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