Nearly three years ago, I was approached by the then-sports editor of The Quad and asked if I could write an article on the men’s basketball team. One article turned into two, two turned into several, and several turned into journalism minor. Now, as I eagerly anticipate the graduation ceremonies that await me in less than two weeks, it is time for me to reflect. It’s time for me to reflect on what writing for The Quad has meant to me, and time for me to reflect on what it will mean to me in the future.I never set out to do this on a week-by-week basis. I just loved writing, and the more that then sports editor Matt Lombardo asked me to write, the more I wrote. The more I wrote, the more the writing bug caught me. This became a passion for me, and it became arguably one of the best things that happened to me. So, for that, I’m eternally grateful to Matt Lombardo for the opportunity to begin my career at The Quad.
For the first two years that I spent on campus, I was a member of the men’s hockey team that I’ve covered for the past two seasons. While my time on the team may not have stood out for onlookers due to the little amount of time that I actually spent on the ice during games, it stands out for me because I met a group of guys that I still stay in touch with to this day. While my columns may not have always been pleasing to the guys, I hope that they were marked by brutal honesty through thick and thin.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank some of the members of the WCU men’s hockey organization who have helped me in some way, shape or form. I want to thank general manager Dom Bellizzie and head coach Mark Gonsalves for their time with me on and off the ice. Mr. Bellizzie helped me write many articles with the meticulous stats that he kept, and was always good for a quote or three when needed. He’s a man who isn’t afraid to be brutally honest, good or bad, and that’s a quality to be admired. Mr. Bellizzie treated everyone equally, whether they are an All-American or a seldom-used player like myself, and that’s another admirable quality.
“Coach Gonzo,” as he’s affectionately referred to, played a major role in the development at The Quad. He helped me several times with quotes and lengthy discussions about the team’s status, and without him, I wouldn’t have had half the knowledge that I currently have about the team. We didn’t always see eye-to-eye on certain issues, but he helped my development as a writer immensely.
Over the course of my time at The Quad, many players and coaches alike have been generous enough to donate their time and energy to sit through interviews with me. For that, I’m eternally grateful. Some players and coaches repeatedly went out of their way to help me with my articles, and this is something that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Eddie Devine, Pat Johnson, Jim Gehring, Corey Hackney, Drew Mervin, Mike Longo, Robert Bushman, Jeff Shockley, Ryan Fenyves and Adam Jordan all helped me out tremendously, and for that, I thank them.
On the basketball side of things, coaches Dick Delaney and Damien Blair were both incredibly accessible for interviews and post-game conferences through thick and thin. In addition, players like Ralph Hegamin, Lenwood Greenwood, Aaron Williams, Kehinde Roberts, and the walking quote machine himself, Kenny St. George, should all receive major kudos as well for their willingness to help me out.
Finally, I’d like to thank my favorite professor at West Chester, bar none, and the reason I know anything about proper journalism, Mr. Charles Bauerlein. Mr. B. made classes entertaining and informational at the same time. He inspired me to keep writing, and he helped me refine my writing style. The most down-to-earth professor I have ever had the pleasure of having and a man who will go out of his way to help you. So, thanks, Mr. B. Every student at West Chester should take a journalism class with you.
I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my current sports editor, LJ Harrell, for the fantastic job he has done since taking over for Matt Lombardo. LJ kept Matt’s vision of an all-WCU sports section alive, and has done so much more. He brought clarity, enthusiasm, organization and a great deal of passion to the sports section. For the sake of The Quad, I hope that he’s able to pass down his skills to the next sports editor.
Thanks for the memories, West Chester.
Matt Chandik is a fifth-year student majoring in Spanish with a minor in Journalism. He can be reached at MC618553@wcupa.edu.