Thanks for the memories

ERIN MADDEN
SPORTS EDITOR

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Just two short years ago, I walked into my first-ever Troubadour writers’ meeting with no prior journalism experience. I took just one story at that first meeting — a story about the women’s volleyball home opener. I was a little nervous since I had never written a story before, but I picked the volleyball story since I was familiar with the sport. Two years ago, I never would have imagined how much my life would have changed for the better, all because of that one story.

After one semester as a staff writer and three semesters as the sports editor, I can’t believe that my time with The Troubadour is coming to an end. I have been so blessed with the opportunities given to me through my work both here and in the athletic department, so I just wanted the opportunity to say some thank-yous.

First of all, thank you to The Troubadour for giving me my start in journalism and especially for launching my sports journalism career on this campus. If I never would have taken that first volleyball story, I never would be sitting here, writing my 18th column as the sports editor.

Also, I wanted to give a huge shout out to the various members of the editorial staffs with whom I’ve worked for the past three semesters. Each one of you has a special place in my heart. Thank you for working so hard to bring the news to the campus of Franciscan University.

To Olivia Sielaff, the editor-in-chief who hired me, thanks for giving me the chance to take what I learned while working in the athletic department and apply it to make the sports coverage at The Troubadour that much better.

To Lauren Ramseyer, this year’s editor-in-chief, and Hannah Crites, next year’s editor-in-chief, two fellow journalism classmates and great friends, thank you for standing by my side throughout all this craziness. I am so blessed to have worked on this paper with the both of you. Hannah, I wish you nothing but success as you take over the paper next year.

To Josh Wetmore and Mary Raskob, the two best bosses I could ever have worked for, thank you for giving me the chance to work for Franciscan University athletics. Thank you for constantly pushing me to get better at my work and for giving me so many opportunities to do so.

One of the best parts of my job has been getting to know the student athletes who play the games about which I wrote, getting to know their stories. That’s one of the biggest reasons that I started doing the student athlete spotlights for every print issue. I am extremely thankful that one of those student athletes, men’s tennis player John Gallagher, is taking over as sports editor next year and will be able to incorporate an athlete’s perspective into the paper.

My job wouldn’t be possible without all of the amazing coaches who serve our student athletes so selflessly. Maura Conant, Suzy Delaney, Jeremy Ellis, Kelly Herrmann, Pete Rosaschi and Jim Walker gave me so much of their time so that their teams’ stories were heard, and I am beyond thankful for every single one of them.

To the teams themselves, thank you for allowing me to enter your world and for allowing me to tell your stories. Thank you for being so willing when I approach you for interviews. Thank you for making me feel welcome when I travel with you.

Thank you to Dr. Wayne Lewis, my journalism professor and adviser to The Troubadour, for teaching me everything I know about being a journalist.

Thank you to my parents, family and friends for being so supportive as I pursued my sports journalism dream and for putting up with my crazy work schedule.

To this date, I have written 237 articles since that very first volleyball story with the vast majority of them being sports stories. I am thankful for 237 opportunities to become a better journalist. I have attended six Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference tournaments and (hopefully) four NCAA tournaments with some of the best athletes on our campus, and I am so incredibly thankful for each of those tournaments, for the opportunity to represent Franciscan athletics at the highest possible level of competition.

In these last few weeks at Franciscan, I plan to appreciate every single second I have left. With a few more sports stories still left to write, my work is not yet over. But, as for my work for The Troubadour, it is time for me to say goodbye. God bless and go Barons.

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