Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Really strange to think that this is the last ever issue for me as sports editor of The Quad. It is not often that a 22-year-old can be considered a veteran among their peers, but being at The Quad for almost all my college tenure may grant me that status. As if I did not feel old enough being 22 already, my college journey in which The Quad played a big part of is nearing its end.

As a freshman, I knew that I had interest in getting involved somehow on campus. As much as I loved playing sports, that road had been sealed off at that point. That kind of thing will happen when you attend a high school with one of the top soccer programs in the country instead of playing for your local high school (where I would have made varsity — I am not bitter).

I did, however, always have an interest in writing, which made an easy connection to sports. I am not the most outgoing person, but I thank my first-semester self for going to the first meeting after the Involvement Fair, even though he was nervous for sure.

I must give a shoutout to William Boyer, the sports editor during my first semester who really helped me feel comfortable in a new environment and showed me the ropes.

So during my first semester, I started writing weekly pieces on the WCU volleyball team. I was doing this just to see if I was enjoying writing like I thought I would, to see if I had interest in staying a part of The Quad. It turns out I did, and around that November or December I was offered the position. As a freshman, I was pretty shocked. I figured there had to have been someone else who had been there longer than I had been, but the consistency I established early on really helped me out.

I got some training regarding how to use Adobe InDesign and the weekly schedule/process, and the rest is history. It has been a rather interesting history, too.

During my tenure as sports editor, I have been around for three different editor-in-chiefs and have seen massive staff turnover. One half of my career has been normal operations, meeting in the office, etc., while the other has seen a pandemic push everything to be solely online. Two pretty distinct and different ways to experience The Quad, and it kind of makes me sad thinking of how most of the staff here now has not experienced what I have: The Quad as it is supposed to be. 

Like I said, I am not the most outgoing person, and when we were in the office I usually did not say much. But those Sundays when everyone meets to work together and make the issue, each person wants to make the best paper possible, and the energy is so positive and conducive to getting things done. As much as I have enjoyed sleeping in on Sundays, I miss meeting in the office every week and seeing everybody.

I truly hope that things are much better come this fall and that The Quad can operate like it used to before COVID-19. That would benefit the paper as a whole and especially help rejuvenate my section; having a populated campus should help draw more interest in covering these more than deserving teams.

Thank you to all of those who have contributed not just to the sports section but The Quad in any way. We, the students, are the life of this news service.

Well, that is all from me. Go Flyers, go Golden Rams, and I hope you have a great end of your semester!

Tyler Grace is a fourth-year economics and finance major. 

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