Well, I’ve reached the first of many lasts to come throughout the course of this year. After two semesters at the helm of The Signal’s sports section, I am laying down my red editing pen in favor of my bat and glove this spring.
Over the past year, the vast majority of my waking hours have been spent in The Signal office and on the College’s softball field. These two places have formed my identity at this school, but with only one semester left, I’m forced to abandon one. I apologize to all you avid Signal sports readers, but I will be actively participating in Lions’ athletics this spring rather than taking notes on the sidelines.
But my dual role this past year is what has made my tenure at The Signal so interesting. Being an athlete at the College while having the responsibility of providing unbiased coverage of the College’s athletics has been a tough assignment to say the least.
Walking into the sports editor position, I saw my inside access as an advantage that others before me did not have. And in some ways I was right. I’m surrounded by athletes of all sports every day, and their experiences, combined with my own, provided an endless supply of story ideas. I hear about the rivalries directly from the people whose adrenaline will not let them sleep the night before a Rowan game. I hear complaints (and even make some myself) directly from the people who have no field to play on or feel their team doesn’t get as much recognition as it deserves. I see the championships and the All-American seasons happen while I cheer my friends on at the same time.
But my intimacy with the athletic department was not without its flaws. Being forced to edit, write headlines and layout the story about the end of my season only hours after the final out had safely settled into the enemy’s glove may have been more painful than the loss itself.
Choosing a “Lion of the Week” was also not the most enjoyable tasks. I realize The Signal is not the filet mignon of sports publications, but there isn’t an athlete out there who doesn’t enjoy notoriety of any kind. So deciding against a teammate or friend for “Lion of the Week” meant I had to prepare for the snide remarks thrown my way on Wednesday afternoon.
But despite the occasional conflict of interest, I will miss it. Being locked in the Student Center basement for eternity on Monday nights would have been impossible without everyone I’ve worked with over the past two semesters. I probably wouldn’t have survived the pre- and post-election frenzy without my fellow Kerry devotees at The Signal.
But I have no doubt that my assistant Andrew Grant is more than ready to take the reins and provide his own spin on athletics here. After a semester of taking orders from me and updating the Stats page-which is by far the most heinous aspect of being a sports editor-I’m sure he’s ready to hand down his Stat page duty to another unsuspecting victim.
With that said, it is time to move on. Time to end one important part of my college career so I can fully embrace the finale of another. My Monday nights will no longer be spent putting together the sports section until the early hours of the morning. Instead, I will be sleeping in preparation for my Tuesday doubleheader.