A farewell piece from the sports editor

Arriving to Mankato as a transfer student, I was eager to explore the University. I had kept my eyes on Minnesota State—Mankato for the decent tuition costs, distance from home, and the friendly feeling the campus provided.

My first legitimate job in Mankato was a job at The Reporter as a Sports Writer. I found the job on the site known as Mav Jobs, and thought it would be a slick side gig to my schooling and other jobs. Never did I intend to make a career of the position. The Sports Editor at the time, Joey Denton, was one of the best Editors I have had the chance to work with. He helped me improve my work and get better over time.

Prior to Mankato, I had already switched my major three times, struggling to find something that would keep my interest. Starting in Law Enforcement, to Post-Secondary Education, then finally Sports Management when I transferred to Mankato in 2014. My major would soon change again, as The Reporter provided some persuasive experiences to go into the Mass Media major.

My first big story at The Reporter was a feature on a senior football player named Keyvan Rudd. The interview with him was a joy, and before I knew it I was having a ball of a time as a Sports Writer.

Then there was the “Wolves after Dark” event held at Bresnan Arena. The Minnesota Timberwolves were just beginning to draft some relevant talent that year, with Zach Lavine, Andrew Wiggins and the late Flip Saunders coming to town. Having the opportunity to meet some of these players and chatting with Saunders is something I will always remember and cherish.

I will also be thankful for the other opportunities I had with The Reporter, such as covering the Minnesota Twins on Jackie Robinson Day, the Minnesota Vikings Training Camp for three seasons, the Vikings playoff game that included a kick going wide left, and the Timberwolves hosting their summer league showcase at the Target Center in Karl-Anthony Towns’ rookie debut. If someone would have told me I would be doing these things as a job three years ago, I would have easily been surprised. Sports have always been my passion, and what The Reporter did for me was confirm that.

Through all of the regular issues, Sports Zone’s, and wonderful people I have met along the way, The Reporter will always be a place I can reminisce on where I started. I may not know where exactly I will finish in life, but I will always know my start began in CSU 293.

I have so many thanks to give. Some writers I would like to give a shout out to are Corey Yuman, Colt Johnson, James Andersen, Colton Molesky, Ryan Sjoberg, and Sean Morawczynski. All of you guys helped me be a better Editor and provided great work for The Reporter. Jake Rinehart was recently hired as a new Sports Writer, and he has quite the knack for the job going forward. Kevin Korbel will be The Reporter’s new Sports Editor, and I have all the confidence in him as he takes over.

One former writer I specifically value is my girlfriend Chelsea Dorval, as she may be the greatest woman I have ever met in my life. Without The Reporter, there would be no relationship between her and I.

I also want to thank all my office friends along the way, beginning with Graphics Manager Dana Clark and Business Manager Jane Tastad. You two are fantastic people, and I want to say thank you for all that you have helped me with along the way. To all my past Editor-in-Chiefs, to the current one in Gabe Hewitt, and the other Section Editors I have worked with: thank you for being good people and a joy to work with.

Finally, I want to thank the coaches and athletes at MSU and the local high schools that helped with Sports Zone. Without your help, none of this would have been possible to produce great reads in the Sports Section.

Life is a ride, and I have learned that the ride only picks up speed as you grow. I will miss Minnesota State University—Mankato, the friends made, and the events experienced.

To the readers of The Reporter: thank you for your support, and I hope the readership carries on through you and others reading this.

Go Mavs, forever.

Tommy Wiita

Tommy is a junior mass media major at MSU. He plays on the club baseball team and enjoys the outdoors. You can follow him on Twitter (@Wiita_BEST) or contact him via email at thomas.wiita@mnsu.edu .

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