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I was all set to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the very first sports story I ever wrote this past Sunday, then I found out a friend had perished in a house fire in the early-morning hours.

Andy and I weren’t really close, but became friends through our love of Penn State athletics — wrestling in particular.

We would sit at the local watering hole in Sayre when I was a sports writer for The Morning Times and watch the NCAA wrestling tournament on the big screen. He would get to talking about the Nittany Lions — I thought I knew a lot about the PSU program, but he was much more informed.

His only shortcoming was the fact he was a Washington football fan (says this NY Giants fanatic). LOL!

Rest in Peace Andy — and hopefully you find some more Penn State fans to hang out with up there.

Getting back to this 40-year thing, when I covered my first event (Tioga vs. Dryden football), I had no idea I would end up being a longtime sports writer. I was intent on earning an Associates degree in Criminal Justice when my path headed in a different direction.

Even though I found a passion for writing, I gave it up on three occasions to pursue other avenues, but kept coming back. I can’t think of any regrets with my career choice, other than the fact the financial rewards have been a major disappointment (that's probably true for so many of us).

Still, I wouldn’t trade my career for anything. There’s nothing like feeling the thrill of victory when athletes and teams I’m covering are successful, although there are times when I have to battle my emotions a little following a difficult loss.

This past year, I’ve questioned more than once whether or not I want to continue writing. I lost my dad just before Thanksgiving last year and he was one of my biggest supporters as an athlete and of my life choices. For whatever reason, that affected my desire to continue going to game after game after game and putting my personal life on hold.

Another one of my big supporters, my mom, was hospitalized for the majority of this fall season (she’s back home now and improving) and that just distracted me from sports writing even more.

Over the past several weeks, I sensed that I wasn’t giving 100 percent to TCSR followers. That came to fruition the other day when I received an email from a high school athlete criticizing my coverage of one of the local volleyball teams.

I will respond by saying she was correct. I did not do as good of a job with sports coverage of her team (and probably a few others) this fall as I have in the past, but I will not apologize for being human.

In closing, I will remind anyone who is not happy with the site that everyone gets FREE access to and there is no other media outlet that offers this much free coverage of Tioga County athletics. 

Not only does TCSR  provide coverage of Candor, Newark Valley, Owego, S-VE and SVEC sports, but the site is also linked to the Tioga and Waverly pages on the Valley Sports Report.

Subscribe to the over-priced newspapers and see what you get!

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