TAYLOR MADE: 35 AND 5
It’s hard for me to believe that Tioga County Sports Report celebrated its fourth anniversary Tuesday. It feels like we just got this website off the ground.
Of course, there’s kind of an asterisk thrown in there if you consider the fact there were only a few stories posted to the site during COVID-19. Technically, the site didn’t shut down, but I did have to seek other employment for about 10 ½ months.
As TCSR heads into year No. 5, it also marks a 35-year journalism career, which I celebrated at the beginning of the month.
Since November 1982, when I wrote my first sports story, until the present, there were only six years where I didn’t cover some type of a sporting event.
With that said, I’ve been witness to numerous accomplishments. I’ve covered a few professional teams and college teams, but the majority of my career has been spent covering high school athletics.
Two of my favorite career highlights came while I was absent from the area for 25 years and involved two young men who had yet to make their mark on the NFL.
Willie Clark out of Wheatland, California played college ball at Notre Dame and was recruited as a running back, but with Jerome Bettis and a couple other strong RBs in the mix, he switched to defensive back. He went on to a 5-year career with San Diego and Philadelphia (still the longest tenure of a Fighting Irish DB I believe).
Vincent Jackson from Widefield, Colorado stayed in-state for college, starring at Northern Colorado University. He played 12 seasons in the NFL with San Diego and Tampa Bay. He surpassed 1,000 yards receiving six times and was a Pro Bowl selection.
I’ve enjoyed “elbow rubbing” with several pros in a variety of sports, but it’s been the opportunity to follow youth athletes which has been most gratifying to me.
Even though my career took me to nine print publications in five different states, it only made sense to leave a career in print to follow the advances in technology, where I will most likely complete my career working at TCSR.
Since the birth of TCSR in 2018, numerous young athletes who were not and would not be receiving coverage otherwise, have been afforded an opportunity to be recognized.
It has not been easy covering 70-plus varsity teams along with the occasional JV and other youth athletic activities, but there are areas to improve in, such as the aforementioned as well as coverage of our college athletes. While I hope to improve coverage in these areas, as a one-person staff I can’t accomplish it without the cooperation of coaches at each of these levels.
With so many people now owning cell phones, there’s no reason a varsity coach (or someone they might designate) can’t text or email me a photo of their scorebook and statistics following a game.
Quite honestly, I should not have to text coaches night after night after night requesting them to send me results, but it is what it is.
I’m looking forward to Year 5 at TCSR and hopefully can make it the best one yet.
Coaches from the Candor, Newark Valley, Owego and Spencer-Van Etten school districts can text results to me at 570-867-3767, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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