Year of Firsts, Foundation for the Future

After graduating from Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs and entering into my freshman year at the University of Denver I was already used to a school that performed well both athletically and academically. My understanding was that DU would  closely follow my expectations. Little did I know my freshman year would be one of the most successful years for DU athletics in the past decade.

I began writing for DU’s school newspaper the Clarion the first week classes started. Shortly thereafter, I received an email from the Clarion’s Editor-In-Chief at the time, forwarding information from Nick Tremaroli. Nick described his need for writers looking to cover (or lack thereof) women’s athletics on campus for the newly launched Let’sGoDU blog. Of course, being a first-year I knew nothing about Let’sGoDU’s history, but I wanted the opportunity to diversify my writing platforms and take advantage of every sports writing opportunity on campus. I reached out to Nick and met up with him for coffee where we drafted the ideas of how I would go about covering women’s athletics, unaware of how the year would soon progress.

Writing for Let’sGoDU this year has not only strengthened skills as an aspiring journalist, but it’s provided me with professional experiences that may not have been available – especially given my age – otherwise. I was immersed in Denver’s stellar athletics from the get-go as I covered the men’s soccer team throughout their successful season and their NCAA tournament run. As fall quarter flew by, hockey became the dominant sporting event to cover. Nick took me up to the press box for my first time as Denver hosted Michigan State. I was enlightened into the environment and culture of sports reporters; instantly falling in love.

Despite Denver’s rough start to the season on the ice, I yearned to return to the press box each game as opposed to watching from the student section where I had obtained the inaugural golden ticket. I had taken a taste of what my potential career might be and I wanted nothing more than to embrace every ounce of it I could get.

As 2016 turned the corner, Denver athletics would continue to astound me and further confirm that I had made the right decision regarding college attendance. Watching the transformation of a team who was struggling to develop chemistry at first, into a rolling team who’s on-ice and off-ice trust and passion was undeniable was an unforgettable experience. Following the program demolish CC in the historic Battle on Blake game, traveling to Minneapolis for the Frozen Faceoff and flying to Tampa for DU’s first Frozen Four berth since 2005 was everything I had ever wanted without really knowing I had wanted it.

Outside of hockey, 2016 provided the opportunities to witness Denver’s ski team claim its 23 national title, Nina McGee become a national gymnastics champion, sit down with Jessica Carty who shares the same hometown as her pal Rory McIlroy, meet John Buccigross (stay tuned for some great news ‘Cawlidge Hawkey’ fans) and learning from one of, if not college lacrosse’s finest; coach Bill Tierney.

The experience and memories I made this past year alone are priceless. The connections I established networking with fellow journalists from the Denver Post, USCHO, Inside Lacrosse, opposing schools on top of the relationships I developed with student-athletes and coaches like; Jamie Franks, Joe Scott, Andy LeRoy, Jim Montgomery and Bill Tierney honestly could not be duplicated at any other university. I’m immensely grateful for the freedom joining Let’sGoDU has provided me in regards to my writing in addition to developing the necessary skills to someday break into the journalism field.

As Let’sGoDU ends its first year since restarting thanks to Tim Thompson and Nick Tremaroli, I’m eager to continue these next four years generating content and sharing this experience with all of our dedicated readers. There are no doubts in my mind that the Crimson and Gold was the right choice to prepare me for the next chapter in my life after graduation and Let’sGoDU is a major component in that equation. My gratitude cannot be expressed enough, nor can my excitement to see where writing with this publication takes me, individually, and the future of Let’sGoDU itself.