I thought I missed my shot.
After spending almost two years in Lawton as a sports writer at The Lawton Constitution, I was looking to move on to bigger opportunities. Once longtime sports editor Joey Goodman retired and his position terminated, I took that as my cue to start looking for a change in scenery.
I looked for anything that would be considered an upgrade from my position at The Constitution, but nothing quite caught my attention. That is until I came across a posting for the sports editor at the Claremore Daily Progress.
I spotted the opening a few days before Christmas, but it had been posted a full month prior to that. Comments on the posting indicated the job was close to being filled, so I though I missed the window to apply.
However, much to my pleasure, the same job popped up again in late January. I wasn’t going to let my chance slip away this time.
I immediately contacted editor Cydney Baron, sent her the required materials and eagerly awaited a response.
Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long.
Before long, I was making the three-hour drive to Claremore from Lawton to meet with Baron and publisher Kristy Geisler. They sold me on everything the Daily Progress has to offer, and after our meeting, I knew this was the place for me.
I am proud to say I am your new sports editor.
Now that you know how I got here, allow me to introduce myself.
Before moving to Lawton, I graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in sports media in May 2017. During my time there, I gained experience working for several media outlets, which allowed me to cover everything from high school cross-country meets to the NBA playoffs.
I grew up in Oklahoma City as a kid who loved to play and consume sports by any means necessary. I could spout off scores and statistics on a whim.
I played football from the age of 8 until my sophomore year at Carl Albert High School before deciding to switch my focus to cross-country in preparation for track season.
I know the Titans have ended Claremore High’s football season the past two years, but I hope those of you who support the Zebras don’t hold that history nugget against me. I am about as impartial as one can get in this profession.
My only experience with Claremore sports came during last year’s Class 5A state baseball tournament. The Zebras crushed Lawton MacArthur, 10-0, in the first round.
That game stands out in my mind because Ben Jones hit a rare inside-the-park grand slam. I had never seen that play before, and I probably never will again.
Like many young sports fans, skipping to the sports section of the newspaper was a daily routine for me, but I didn’t always strive to become a sports writer. My first job aspiration was to be a criminal profiler, thanks in large part to the show Criminal Minds. I didn’t discover my true calling until high school.
Naturally, the track and field teams at Carl Albert rarely received coverage from the school or city media. Feeling undervalued, I decided to join the newspaper staff to give the “minor” sports the recognition I felt they deserved.
Little did I know it would turn into my life’s passion.
I entered the professional newspaper business my senior year of high school with EastWord News in Midwest City in November 2012. My first assignment was detailing my experience in the Ultimate Mud Warrior 5K run in Oklahoma City.
Shortly thereafter, I became the Oklahoma City Thunder beat writer for an online magazine called ionOklahoma.
The Stillwater News Press, VYPE High School Sports Magazine and Oklahoma Sports.Net are other notable outlets I’ve had the privilege to work with since then. My most recent gig, as I mentioned earlier, was with The Constitution, covering mainly high school sports and occasionally OU football.
My goal with the Claremore Progress is to continue providing complete and fair coverage of the Claremore sports scene, as well as the neighboring communities.
One thing you’ll surely learn about me is my dedication. It doesn’t take much to get me excited for work every day.
I once voluntarily made an eight-hour roundtrip journey to cover only one runner in the Oklahoma–Arkansas Cross-Country Duel, a race that lasted less than 19 minutes.
I even made a 241-mile trek to the southwest corner of the state to cover a football playoff game between Morrison and Hollis for the News Press (an elk ran alongside my car down State Highway 30, which was terrifying). I didn’t get home until 4 the next morning.
If you’re an athlete or a coach reading this, your accomplishments won’t go unnoticed. You have a story to tell, and I’ll be there with a recorder and a camera to capture it all.
If you’re a parent, I hope to provide many newspaper clippings of your youngster(s) for the refrigerator or scrapbook that you can look back on years from now.
The spring sports season is cranking up, so if you see me camped out in the stands for a baseball doubleheader or anything of that nature, don’t hesitate to say hi.
I might be live tweeting or writing a quick game story, but it’d be a pleasure to meet the friendly people of Claremore.