MARCUS STONE: They didnt teach us how to do this in school
By Marcus Stone, Sports Editor
The year is 2007 and I am sitting in Sports Writing 475 on the campus of the University of Tennessee. A classmate raises their hand and asks the professor when we’re going to be taught how to write columns.
Being a former editor, the response was sharp and straight to the point.
“We will not cover column writing in this class,” he said, “because it will be years into your career before you get to write one.”
With that being said, I have no training on what I now have to write – a goodbye column.
For the past 48 months my job has been the envy of the majority of my friends. I’ve gotten paid to watch sports. Not only did I get paid, I got in free, had one of the best seats in the house, and plenty of times got a free meal or drink.
Why then am I stepping away on my own – something I’m told is becoming more rare in this industry. It’s just time.
My first thank you goes to my parents, not just for being supportive of my decisions but for raising me in a way where I know how to make proper decisions.
I was a journalism major so my math might not be correct, but by my calculations I have written 1,200 stories and been in 207 consecutive issues of the Williamson Herald. My mom has saved every copy.
Secondly, thanks to Derby Jones and Mindy Tate for giving me an opportunity to break into the business, first as an intern then again as a staff writer. Handing a 23-year-old kid the reigns of a sports section must have been difficult.
My next thank yous have to be directed at Terry Merrell, Stormy Mitchell, and Joe Williams – all of which took me under their wings and taught me the ways of Williamson County high school sports.
Terry and Stormy, the WAKM sports guys, gave me another platform that I greatly appreciated and I hope to continue my weekly appearances.
Joe was basically my sounding board in the beginning with the Herald and taught me the ways of the newspaper industry. He was always complementary of my work and willing to lend a hand when needed.
A big shout out is also deserved to everyone who submitted pictures for the sports section. Words can only tell so much. Your pictures helped make the section and your efforts were never overlooked by me.
Last but not least, thanks to the athletic directors, coaches, and players from all 10 county schools. You’ve given me memories to cherish for years to come. If my future schedule allows, I hope to do some freelance coverage and look forward to working with you all again.
So maybe this isn’t “goodbye”. Maybe it’s just “see you later”.
Marcus Stone is sports editor at the Williamson Herald. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Posted on: 7/17/2013