Behind the Jersey

Since the ripe age of two, I have been taught the mechanics and commitment of many sports. Whether it was baseball, swimming, water polo, track, football or basketball, I never stayed with it. I failed myself time and time again. It wasn’t for a lack of talent or effort, but rather a fear of devotion.
Playing baseball from when I could walk, I was a member of a team until my graduating days of elementary school. My life hit a turn at the end of fifth grade when Boys & Girls Club was no longer a part of my everyday routine. I had to become more focused on school and my future.
Since that point, middle and high school were years of experimenting with different clubs and sports until my judgment told me “No more.”
The passion of playing and watching has never left me. Whether it is playing tennis with my brothers, shooting hoops with my cousins or hitting some balls in Intramurals, the love for competition will always stay with me.
One of the biggest life decisions I have ever made included me stepping away from team sports. When offered a football helmet, baseball bat or swimming trunks, I told myself it wasn’t the right move. Is there regret? Definitely. I regret giving up baseball nearly every day of my life. I see friends getting drafted and children playing and think: “That could be me.” Don’t feel sorry for me though. This was my choice.
My life has taken a different direction. I am using my adoration for the game and putting it to good use. I am going to work behind the scenes in sports. Whether it is reporting on baseball, compiling video for basketball or helping in the development of youngsters in coaching, this is my predestined path. I can’t fully explain it.
When many of my friends wondered what they would do with their studies after high school, I always knew. I’m not saying I had a job and a major picked out. I had no clue. I just know this is the one thing in life I will not give up on. No matter how many sports I never committed to or people I let down in the past, I am going to make up for it by making this dream a reality.
With the recent struggles in the economy, job searching is horrifically tough. I am terrified that I won’t have a job by this day or in this location, but that’s okay. I am going to listen to those around me when they say to “Take things one day at a time.”  I have applied to every place imaginable and garnered the experience needed to work in any sports-related field. I may not know how to do everything, but I certainly plan on learning.
As a graduating senior, do I know where I am going to be in 30 years? Hell no. I don’t even know where I’m going to be in 30 days. I could be shooting video in California or designing sports packages in New Jersey. I don’t care where the idea takes me, but I am sticking with it. I have never been more certain in my life about anything. I will not cave. This is my path and I will follow it wherever it takes me.
I have been working for this newspaper for close to four years now. I have been the sports editor for three. I understand the paper will live on without me just as it did before me. I hope to leave behind a memory of passion, devotion and strive for perfection in my place. No matter what happens to me after May 12, my love for the profession stays with me. My willingness to learn and grow in the field will keep me pushing forward in hopes of becoming the best possible individual I can be.
Mercer sports have been a huge part of my life and I say thank you to all the individuals who have helped me along the way. Every phone call, email, game, interview and event has made me the professional I am today. I wish to thank my line of staff writers over the years. Many have come and gone and their presence will forever be inked in Mercer Athletics history.
Thank you coaches, players and fans for such great participation over the years. Without you, there would be no job for me to carry out and enjoy. In my heart, I will always be the sports editor for The Cluster. Go Bears!