Enjoyed my four years
Mike Neville – Sports Editor
I still remember my first time stepping on the university’s campus. There is a saying you know where you want to go to school as soon as you step foot on campus. I found that out to be true with Southern.
When I entered as a freshman four years ago, I was a timid but also over the top social work major looking at the next eight years of education; social work is an exceptionally long time.
This all changed after a semester with Professor Frank Harris’s Journalism 135 course on multimedia.
Professor Harris said to me that I had a good voice, and I should take on broadcasting with WSIN. I took his advice to heart, and I have had the privilege of being “The voice of Southern sports” during my last four years here.
The journalism professors here really care about their students; all of us. If it were not for Professor Harris, I would have never switched to journalism.
I have always been passionate about sports. When I found out I could make a career in it that did not involve playing, I was hooked.
I put broadcasting first. I fondly remember calling baseball, basketball and football games with Mike Riccio and Quinn O’Neil my freshman and sophomore years.
Although the calling of homeruns and touchdowns never stopped, I embarked on a new journey in my junior year. I began writing for the Southern News.
Under the guidance of Hunter O’ Lyle, the sports editor at the time. Which is ironically the position I find myself in now, I embarked as a contributor for the section.
I remember my first sports story. A piece on the track and field team winning a championship. This was also the first and only time I had a story that was on the front page of the entire paper. A weird flex the common individual would not understand.
I continued to contribute to the sports section up until the C word hit, COVID-19. Besides mass panic, a feeling of hopelessness arose.
Would I ever write again? Would I be able to cover a game again in both the broadcast booth and writer’s chair?
There were so many unanswered questions that revolved directly around COVID-19.
With so much uncertainty in 2020, I applied for sports editor during the summer and got the position within two days.
This year was so different. Instead of covering games and writing about them, profiles and features became normal.
I did not think I would cover a game again during my time at Southern. To be honest, I grew incredibly frustrated and debated leaving.
I was never one to back down, and I pushed through. This spring, I finally got my hands back on a box score. The wait was worth it.
During my time at Southern, I have been part of many things. I have done my fair share of charity events and participated in the week of welcome. I enjoyed my time as an athlete with the rugby team here and formed a band of brothers I will never forget. Met friends who have become my family that will be the aunts and uncles of my children, if I ever have any.
Above all, the one thing I got the most out of was my time with the Southern News. I became a better person and writer and learned much about myself I never knew.
It is still unbelievable that my time here is really ending. It does not feel real. If you were to ask me, would you do it all over again? I would answer simply – In a heartbeat.