It can’t end this way
There are a lot of things they don’t teach in journalism school, but letting go is not one of them.
Three weeks out from my one-year anniversary at the Cameron Citizen-Observer, I can’t help but think of what I should be covering. I should be in the middle of baseball season, wondering if the Dragons can turn it around this year, keeping up on the progress of returning 2019 state qualifiers from the Lady Dragons Track and Field Team or see if new soccer coach Jason Welch’s pedal to the metal offensive attack works out.
Every sports writer has either two dreams: to cover the greatest athletes on the grandest stage or cover one team in a small town and be content. Before coming to Cameron, I covered the greatest athletes in the world, the fastest horses, but it was always superficial. Any more than four teams and I rarely built any rapport with players, coaches – anyone. Here, I really get to learn who they are as people, watch them grow and overcome challenges. Taking everything I learned from covering the Carolina Panthers, LSU athletics and the top high school athletes in the country, I wanted to give Cameron athletes the D-1 college sports. This included live player interviews, professional quality photography and letting them guide the readers through what happened on a crucial play.
Overall, I give myself a C grade but as an organization the Citizen-Observer made so many strides in achieving my vision – creating a dedicated sports section. So much momentum that came to a screeching halt once Coronavirus neared Cameron. I’ve always been snake-bitten when it comes to sports.
I covered a state contender for football in North Carolina, only for the entire team to get hands-foot-and-mouth disease before the state semifinals. I covered a girl who would go on to be the top pick in the 2019 WNBA draft, but she ended her high school career in a second-round playoff loss to a no-name team. With each passing year the stories became comically depraved. An editor referred to me as the Angel of Death. Why not end a sports season with a global pandemic? Based on my previous experience it’s only fitting.
Don’t worry, I’ll be back for the fall 2020 sports season. We will pick up where we left off as a newspaper and, maybe will a little help, add a middle school sports coverage. Outside of a championship, every player ends their season with a loss. However, even a loss brings a sense of closure and no one will get that this season.