THE JOURNALIST

Whether it was reading the newspaper every day or reading a variety of sports magazine, I’ve always had an interest in the news. I wanted to know what was going on. When I first picked up a camera, I thought about being a sports photographer. I went to Purdue to become an engineer, but after joining the Purdue Exponent newspaper and working with an amazing staff and mentors, I knew I wanted a career in journalism. I as hired as a photographer by the Huntington (Ind.) Herald-Press right out of Purdue in 1987, and I stayed there for more than 20 years, stepping into the sports editor position in 1990. I learned a lot from a great staff and outstanding editor in Mike Perkins, and we built one of the best newspapers in the state. The slow death of newspapers broke up our talented group, and I left the business in 2008. I have collected a few of my favorite works and the stories behind them here. I’ve also stayed close to the industry over the years, and the struggle for media to remain relevant as it transforms the way it delivers the news. I’ll offer my thoughts occasionally in the discussion section here.

STORIES BEHIND THE STORIES

Watching Over BreAnne

There are times as a journalist that you know you’ve got a great story.

They can practically write themselves; all you have to do as a writer is not screw it up. But a decent writer can make it something special.

It was 2005, and I was at the height of my career. I earned the right to brag a little bit on this one. I nailed it. It might have been the best thing I wrote in my time at the Herald-Press.

READ MORE

Can the Olympic Conference Survive?

When I started at the Herald-Press, Huntington North High School was a part of the Olympic Athletic Conference. The OAC ranked only behind the legendary North Central Conference in terms of success.
But several circumstances were threatening to tear the conference apart, including consolidation, travel, and economics
.

READ MORE

Earvin Gives Us a Lesson in Life

I had never written a real column, one tackling an issue or event. But at that time, I felt inspired to write. I was still emotionally fragile after losing my father, and the Johnson announcement only added to the confusion. I decided to examine what it meant to have heroes in our lives. I wrote about putting sports stars on a pedestal, and about my father’s influence in my life, and ultimately how we have to find the strength within ourselves to become the person we want to be.

READ MORE

Vikes End Marion Dominance

There were a handful of times in my newspaper career when an event I was covering had just more meaning than it normally would. It was a special moment in time, and I was going to have to find the words that would match the moment.
Huntington North and Marion were meeting in a boys basketball sectional semifinal on a Thursday night in March, 1999. It was clear log before the game started that is had a different feel. There was a huge energy in North Arena that night.

READ MORE

Knight’s ‘My Story’ is also His Story

I knew that Bob Hammel was writing Bob Knight’s long-anticipated biography, “Knight: My Story.” It was 2002, and while the book was getting big pre-release press, but I knew that I would be writing a story on Hammel’s involvement.
As I began thinking about the story, the focus became clear. Just about everything that went on in Knight’s life over the previous 30 years, Hammel had been there. Their two lives were intertwined.

READ MORE

1964: Huntington remembers the Vikes

When you are the sports editor of a small-town newspaper covering just one high school, it can be difficult at times. You get to know the coaches and administrators well, and while you’re not a booster, those relationships give you a certain level of access. You have to remain objective, but you know you are writing for an audience primarily interested in that one school.

READ MORE

On to Greener Pastures

I don’t think the group had an official name, but they were a unique club. They all coached high school baseball in Indiana and were certainly cut from the same cloth.
In other sports there would occasionally be a colorful character who gave you terrific quotes from time to time. But none of them matched these baseball coaches, and I was lucky enough to get to talk with Huntington North’s Don Sherman every spring
.

READ MORE

This Time, She’s Perfect

When you are the sports editor of a small-town newspaper covering just one high school, it can be difficult at times. You get to know the coaches and administrators well, and while you’re not a booster, those relationships give you a certain level of access. You have to remain objective, but you know you are writing for an audience primarily interested in that one school.

READ MORE

Johnson Battles Through Pain For Win

When you are the sports editor of a small-town newspaper covering just one high school, it can be difficult at times. You get to know the coaches and administrators well, and while you’re not a booster, those relationships give you a certain level of access. You have to remain objective, but you know you are writing for an audience primarily interested in that one school.

READ MORE

Beyond Words

When you are the sports editor of a small-town newspaper covering just one high school, it can be difficult at times. You get to know the coaches and administrators well, and while you’re not a booster, those relationships give you a certain level of access. You have to remain objective, but you know you are writing for an audience primarily interested in that one school.

READ MORE

Stubborn Spirit

Some of the most rewarding stories I’ve written have been where athletes have overcome the odds to succeed.
I’ve seen young people deal with devastating injuries, the deaths of family or friends, and defy expectation or circumstance. They are inspirations, and I’m humbled as I do the best I can to tell their stories and try to convey the feelings or emotions of the situation
.

READ MORE

Before Chicago had Rex, Huntington had Rex

When you are the sports editor of a small-town newspaper covering just one high school, it can be difficult at times. You get to know the coaches and administrators well, and while you’re not a booster, those relationships give you a certain level of access. You have to remain objective, but you know you are writing for an audience primarily interested in that one school.

READ MORE

An Ending Just Like the Others

When you are the sports editor of a small-town newspaper covering just one high school, it can be difficult at times. You get to know the coaches and administrators well, and while you’re not a booster, those relationships give you a certain level of access. You have to remain objective, but you know you are writing for an audience primarily interested in that one school.

READ MORE