My journey to the sports team

Brad Tansey

My first semester on the sports team may not have happened if I was too shy to speak up.

I was working for KentWired on a Thursday night when I saw Cody Francis, the sports editor. I was kind of bummed out because I didn’t get a position with the sports team earlier in the semester, so I decided to ask if he needed any help covering games. He told me that he could always use more help and that I could cover some of the baseball games until the other reporters were done with their sports.

The first game I was assigned to was the Kent State-Kansas State baseball game. I was really nervous to talk to the coach after the team just got done losing four games. When I called him, he sounded pretty upset. I mean, come on, who wouldn’t be mad after giving up 39 runs in four games? After I finished talking with coach Scott Stricklin, I realized the whole reporting process wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.

My next assignment was the baseball team’s first home game against Duquesne. Seeing as I’d never covered a live game before, I was pretty nervous. After going up to the press box and watching the game, I was getting more comfortable with each inning that passed. After the game, which Kent State lost — its fifth straight — I went down to the field to interview Stricklin. I was informed by the baseball team’s information director, that the coach didn’t want to talk to any reporters. I really didn’t understand why, other than the fact the team lost its fifth straight. So I had to struggle to put together a story for the next day’s paper. I think this game really made me a stronger reporter because I learned how to work on the fly, when things don’t go exactly like I planned.

After covering a couple more baseball games, I was getting really comfortable with the whole process of reporting.

On a Friday, during our weekly sports team meeting, Cody told me I would be covering softball for the rest of the semester. I was excited to cover the softball team because it was something I wasn’t really used to. I guess you can say I was welcoming the challenge with open arms.

The first game I went to and covered was when Kent State played Miami and Ball State at home. Of course, it rained and snowed a little bit. The Flashes swept both doubleheaders and Kylie Reynolds, the all-time leader in career wins in the Mid-American Conference, went 4-0. She played a great game and was a great interview, too.

Covering the softball and baseball teams this semester has been a rewarding experience for me. I would have never gotten the chance if I didn’t speak up and ask. If I would have never spoke up and asked if I could help out, I wouldn’t be writing this column today.

Contact sports correspondent Brad Tansey at [email protected].