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It’s important to never stop pursuing your dreams | News, Sports, Jobs


Macafee

Since I was a child, I was taught to pursue my dreams. And that’s what I’ve always done.

It led me to change my major from sports science to journalism at Slippery Rock University. It led me to move across the country to Arizona to get my first job in the field, making just enough money to keep a roof over my head. Then it led me to Arizona State University, where I earned my master’s degree in sports journalism.

I never stopped dreaming.

At every stage of my journalism career, I always had the goal in the back of my mind to cover professional sports. Whether it was baseball, football, soccer or basketball, that was always my goal. Although it was further away at some points in my career than others, I always knew that all I needed was an opportunity.

Well, that opportunity starts on Monday.

Last week was my last week as editor of the Tribune Chronicle and The Vindicator newspapers. Next week I start living my dream as I cover the Pittsburgh Steelers for a Pittsburgh company.

As a kid, I always loved watching SportsCenter, where Chris Berman would deliver one animated sentence after another or Stuart Scott would coin an interesting phrase like “As cool as the other side of the pillow.” I looked forward to it every day. But as I got older, I found more joy in writing and telling stories. That’s how my dream developed, and now it’s coming true.

But I couldn’t be more grateful for my time at the Tribune Chronicle and The Vindicator. It seems like only yesterday that I was sitting across from former editor Brenda Linert for my interview. A few weeks later, I was fully engaged.

In fact, just a few days ago I received notification that I was celebrating my third anniversary at the newspaper, and it made me think about how quickly time has flown by.

It started with a quick change in sports as we put together the annual football brochures and prepared for the first high school sports season in Mahoning Valley. The following June, I finally got back on my feet.

During my two and a half years in the athletic department, my staff and I were able to tell some amazing stories. From Canfield and South Range winning state championships in football that same year, to Garfield’s Keegan Sell and Hunter Andel standing atop the podium at the end of the wrestling state tournament at Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center. There was also Austintown Fitch’s run to the state championship in softball last year before turning around and doing it again this year, and a host of other individual titles along the way.

Cardinal Mooney’s Rocco Turner won a golf title, Maplewood’s Caleigh Richards won numerous cross country and track titles over the past three seasons, and we can’t forget Canfield’s Nick Plant’s dominance in the 800-meter run or the 4×100 relay that Valley Christian’s athletes have built.

Several stories, however, were not about state titles. One story I was incredibly proud of was the series I was able to do last summer on the history of football in the Warren area. The rivalry between Western Reserve and Warren G. Harding was legendary, the 1990 state championship after the two rivals merged was storybook, and the legacy of players who went on to play at the collegiate and professional levels created a historic culture.

I also always thought our coverage of Youngstown State University was second to none, as Joel Whetzel did a great job before he replaced me as sports editor. In addition to his coverage of games, his corporate-style stories went into depth on players and coaching staffs to give our readers a good look at how each program works. Neel Madhavan has continued to do the same with his coverage of YSU.

The moral of the story is that my time here in the Mahoning Valley has been nothing short of incredible. From the stories we’ve been able to tell to the people I’ve been able to work with every day.

But now it’s time to accomplish something I’ve been waiting for my whole life. So, thanks to our readers in the Mahoning Valley! It’s been fun.

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