Fresh out of college back in the spring of 2016, I faced the harsh reality of searching for my first real full-time job. But this marks my final week with Star Local Media, as I embark on a new career path.
Throughout my time at the University of North Texas, I always had various job and internships at the same time – ranging from mainly broadcast roles on camera and radio, as well as being a waiter at restaurants trying to make an extra buck.
I was like many recent graduates four years ago — I knew what I wanted to do but had no idea on how or where to start.
Naturally, I began applying that first summer after college for any journalism position I could find, as well as others that really had nothing to do with sports or journalism altogether. This is around the time I stumbled upon an open position with Star Local Media covering just news for Celina.
I didn’t even know where Celina was on a map at the time.
I had heard of it plenty of times growing up and knew a bit about its dominant high school football presence, but I just thought it was some small town not even remotely close to the Metroplex.
I applied for the role knowing covering just news in a town of fewer than 10,000 people probably was not my cup of tea but did it anyways.
I landed an interview — my first actual in-person interview after graduating — and I thought it went well but ultimately I didn’t get it. Of course, I was a little upset, but deep down I was almost relieved because I held on hope of finding a full-time sports gig somewhere and was willing to wait it out.
In the meantime, I continued to wait tables that summer while
vigorously applying for jobs left and right with little to no luck.
Then, what seemed like out of the blue from left field, I received an email from my soon-to-be boss at Star Local Media informing me that a sports position had opened up and asked if I was interested.
After busting out a couple of cartwheels in my living room, I replied only to find out that the available position would be just part-time, which was far from ideal but better than nothing.
After a couple of days patiently waiting for an opportunity to even interview for the part-time gig, I was presented with yet another email that seemed as if it was sent from above stating that a development had occurred and a spot covering Frisco, Little Elm and Celina was open.
Long story short, I interviewed a couple days later, was offered and instantly accepted and was ready to get going with my career.
Mind you, this was mid-August and the high school football season was literally right around the corner, and I didn’t know a single thing about Frisco ISD football, much less the fact that there were eight high schools at the time instead of two or three like I had thought.
I had never stepped foot in Little Elm before, same with Celina, and my first week on the job was the week before the first of the 2016 season on the gridiron. I must have called at least 10 coaches that week trying to snag together any information I could muster while looking and feeling like a fish out of water.
Oh yeah — my second day was also a Tuesday, which meant volleyball action was in full swing that night and I was quickly informed that I’d be covering a game that night.
My prior volleyball knowledge started and ended at the sand courts I would sparingly play at in college, so it’s safe to say I had no earthly idea of what I was doing when I stepped into the gym that first-ever Tuesday night.
But before I knew it, I loved it. Same with the football season, as I had the pleasure of covering outstanding players right off the bat like Lone Star’s Jason Shelley and Independence’s Dom Williams – both of which
are still playing Division I college football today.
A couple of months later, I was introduced to some lanky freshman phenom named RJ Hampton in Little Elm, and boy, I was spoiled being able to follow his entire high school career as he gets ready to become a potential lottery pick in this summer’s NBA draft.
The list of remarkable athletes I have had the pleasure of covering in my time in the Frisco-area is endless, as well as all of the coaches that have made my job that much easier, and more fun, along the way.
I’d be remiss to say the relationships I built along the way weren’t the most fulfilling part of the last four years, but it’s time I embark on a new path.
I’m excited about this new opportunity of my career, albeit away from journalism altogether, and I will greatly miss so many things about my tenure with SLM.
But I’m sure I’ll be around in some capacity in the future, especially come football season. In the meantime, this isn’t a goodbye but more of a see you later.