With graduation only a few weeks away, some of the most important things I have had to deal with in my college life are coming to an end. Like being Sports Editor of this fine publication. And I feel the need to thank a number of people and tell some of my experiences I have had over the past couple of years.When I first walked onto the West Chester campus back in August 2006, I didn’t have a clue of what I wanted to do. But after meeting new friends my first year, I got turned onto athletics. In particular, writing about WCU athletics. I didn’t have the talent to play sports at the college level, but I had a lot of fun being around the teams.
A year later, I was asked to write an article for The Quad on the women’s soccer team, and not only did I give it a try, but I began to become interested in writing sports articles. It started with women’s soccer and moved on to women’s basketball. And then I got to cover the football team.
All of this accumulated into becoming the Asst. Sports Editor first, before becoming the Sports Editor. I have held this distinguished title for the last two years. It is a job I have cherished and it is a job I take seriously. But besides it being a job, it has become a passion of mine. It is something I love to do on a weekly basis.
There are a lot of people who I need to thank because I have not been able to get to where I am today without their help. And I apologize in advance if I miss anyone.
A lot of this could not have been possible without a few people who I would be remised to acknowledge. Matt Lombardo, the previous Sports Editor, gave me the shot and also trusted me to continue with leading the sports section in the right direction. I believe I have done that job and I am also entrusting that value into my predecessors.
Another big thanks goes out to head football coach Bill Zwaan, head women’s basketball coach Deirdre Kane and all of the other coaches who I have had the pleasure of working with over the past couple of years. Whether it is working for The Quad or WCUR, I would not have been able to accomplish much without their help. Being able to write about their teams and call exciting playoff matchups throughout the past couple of years has made my experiences at WCU that much more exciting.
A big thanks also has to go to the athletes on the teams I have covered over the past couple of years. Whether its football season and D’Andre Webb, Joe Wright, Sam Scott, Mike Dell or Kevin Garland had a big game, they always gave me the time to ask questions and give me a quote or two. Or whether it be basketball season and Janelle Garber scores 1,000 points or Dana Weems wins the player of the year award or Allison Hostetter dazzles us with her passing, they always had time to sit down and talk with me. For this, I am thankful to all the athletes and will miss being around them.
I also have to thank Athletic Director Dr. Edward Matejkovic and Sports Information Director Jim Zuhlke. These two individuals have confidence in the work I do with The Quad and WCUR which in turn helps me work harder and harder to live up to their expectations of me. Having the chance to work with these two has allowed me to see sports in a different light and being able to gain their confidence has helped me continue to progress as a writer and broadcaster.
I also need to thank the faculty advisor for The Quad, Dr. Phillip Thompsen. He has always been there for the editorial staff and has helped us out whenever there was a problem. The other faculty advisor I need to thank is Dr. Arthur Smith. Doc is the advisor for WCUR and he goes above and beyond what his duties are. As the Sports Director for WCUR, he has helped me more times than I can count and I owe him a lot because of that.
Next, I would like to thank The Quad editorial staff, in particular my assistant Ryan Frisco. Ryan has put up with me over the past two years but we have made the sports section the best we can. I have had the privilege of working with Ryan and I have learned a lot from him. I also want to thank Brenden Lee and Lindsey Covert. These two have been there with me with WCUR over the last two years, and if it weren’t for them we wouldn’t of been able to accomplish most of the things we did with WCUR. I know Lindsey will do an exceptional job as the new Sports Director for WCUR.
Finally, I need to thank all of the readers of The Quad and all of those people who listened to the sporting broadcasts that I had the pleasure of calling, whether it is football, basketball or baseball. If it weren’t for your feedback and criticism, I wouldn’t have been able to give my best for you and for the school.
These past couple of years have been the best experiences I have had in my life. And I am glad that I have been able to experience all of this at West Chester. I have faith in my successors, Amy Festa and Steven Fisher, to continue with the success that The Quad has had over the past couple of years. And for me, one thing will always reign true: I will always bleed Purple and Gold.
LJ Harrell is a fourth-year student majoring in Marketing. He can be reached at LH639694@wcupa.edu.