The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Will Korn 

Talking Sports: My farewell to the Sun-Telegraph and to Sidney

 


“It is simply the nature of the journalism and news industry that requires one to always be prepared for change at any moment.”

This is one of the best nuggets of advice my journalism professors always reminded me of when I was an undergrad at UT Austin, progressing my way toward a journalism degree from the Texas School of Journalism.

The first time I heard that was three years ago when I first stepped foot inside a classroom at the Belo Center for New Media, on UT’s campus, as a sophomore. I heard it one final time as I crossed the stage with my degree in May.

As I said in my introductory column back in early July, I honestly did not ever imagine that I would end up in Sidney, Neb., to start my career. I had – and still have – a dream that I believe will take most of my life to achieve and I was willing to go wherever that dream’s path took me to get started.

Breaking into the sports writing industry is very difficult and at times can be exhaustingly competitive. When it comes to getting that first job, my journalism professors also told me “Beggars can’t be choosers.” To give myself the best chance to succeed at getting into the industry, I had to be willing to go anywhere to get started. I was completely devoted to the new life I knew I would be starting. Almost all of my friends from high school and college make far more money than I. But one thing is certain: not all of them share the same passion that I have for what I do.

Devotion and passion: that’s what it takes to move three states north from the only place you’ve ever lived and start completely anew. It’s something that many of my colleagues– either personally known or not – have done and will have to do to begin their journalism and media careers.

Sidney was merely the first stop on a journey that I know, without a doubt, will span the rest of my life. I didn’t anticipate being here for only five months, but as I mentioned, change can happen at any time.

Anyone who knows me from the Sidney summer legion baseball season, which I had the pleasure of covering as my first real assignment at the Sun-Telegraph, knows that my dream is to enter into the baseball writing business at some point in my career.

My two most coveted career goals are becoming a beat writer for a Major League Baseball team and then, hopefully a few decades after that, earning a place among the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. This is a something that I believe could take a lifetime to achieve – if it ever happens. After all, to earn a baseball Hall of Fame vote, you have to be one of the best in the world.

It goes without saying that sometimes, I have fears that I will fail and will never live to see myself in either of these capacities. But big dreams provide the greatest motivation.

With that in mind, I think it’s an appropriate time to officially announce that I will be leaving the Sun-Telegraph on Friday. I have accepted a job as a sports reporter at the Midland Reporter-Telegram, a larger daily newspaper in Midland, Texas. This move will allow me greater opportunities to pursue my life’s goals – one of which is covering the hometown Midland Rockhounds Double-A baseball team as a beat for the Telegram.

When I received the official offer from Midland on Nov. 21, there was no way I could refuse it. It’s a chance to be back in my home state– where, until I moved to Sidney on June 28, I hadn’t lived a single day of my life outside of – to be much closer to family and friends and being able to cover a Double-A team full-time in the summer puts me on a more focused, direct path to becoming a baseball writer.

I am committed to doing whatever it takes to live my dream and this move is one of the countless things I know it will take to make that possible.

So now I’ll say my goodbyes. I’d like to offer a special thanks to everyone affiliated with Legion Post 17 baseball here in Sidney. When I started my first day at the Telegraph back on July 1 – I’ll be honest – I was more than a little nervous, not knowing anyone and being 1,000 miles from home. The coaches, players and supporters of this program were among the first people I got to meet.

Coaches Mark Onstott, Tim Herrera, Tommy Arellano, Jake Wilson, as well as Sidney High principal Chris Arent, were instrumental in my acclimation to a dramatically differently life than I was previously used to. Coming from San Antonio – a city of 1.3 million people – there were many things about life in Sidney that I knew would take time to adjust to, apart from even living on my own for the first time.

These individuals and the Sidney players made that adjustment period a little smoother and more far more enjoyable. I loved every minute of the summer season I was here for and wish I could I could do it one more time with you all.

I’d also like to extend a special thanks to Sidney High photographer and superwoman Donna Wiedeburg, who was my lifesaver more times than I can count on two – or three if I had that many – hands. I credit her with showing me the ropes of the Sidney High sports scene and through her, I met many of the athletes I covered here for five months. Being able to record, in person, the remarkable moment of her son Jachob and Kearney Catholic’s Liam Murphy at the state cross country meet this fall was something I’ll never forget.

Finally, I’d like to thank everyone working in the Sun-Telegraph’s office. From the moment I first walked through that door, all I’ve experienced was pure kindness that made even the most stressful days at work more tolerable. It was a unique collection of personalities that will be missed. I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet and interact with all of you extensively during my time here.

Years from now, I may not remember this place with much detail. But I’ll never forget the people I met and worked with, or developed friendships with here.

That’s all from me. Farewell, Sun-Telegraph. Farewell Sidney, Neb.

 

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