Tess Crowley/Daily. Buy this photo.

Position(s): Senior Sports Editor, 2022-23 Men’s Basketball Beat Writer, 2020-22 Women’s Basketball Beat Writer, 2020 Softball Beat Writer

Section(s): Sports

Semesters at The Daily: 7

I’ve been writing this story since my freshman year.

After sitting in the final Sunday sports meeting of my first fall semester and hearing the seniors share, through their tears, the stories they’d accumulated during their time at The Daily, I could only imagine what my own stories could be. 

Every time I’ve gone on a road trip, eaten greasy NYPD pizza in the newsroom at 2 in the morning, covered a game that made history or trounced the State News in football, I’ve thought about how I’d weave it into the narrative of my own experience at The Daily. 

And sitting down now — plopping down on the back couch and surveying this place I’ve called home for the past four years — trying to put this experience into words is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Because these stories are so much more than just stories. They’re my college experience and my best friends. And to try to encapsulate that into one measly 1,000-word story is impossible. It’s why I’ve put off writing this until the last minute.

But throughout every wild anecdote, there’s one common thread. 

It’s the people.

My first time walking up the stairs into the newsroom for a mass meeting, Max welcomed me into the sports section by talking about road trips and touch football games. And after picking up a shadow story and writing something unintelligible about men’s soccer, Ethan sat me down on the back couches and tried to explain how to write a sports story. From just those two interactions, I was hooked. Even though I thought they both were the same person for too long, I eventually figured it out. 

From those two conversations to the end of my senior year here, I’ve been impacted in so many ways by the upperclassmen that came before me. Thank you to each and every one of you for welcoming me so graciously into this community. I wouldn’t have stuck around this long if it wasn’t for you. Especially those that brought this paper through the pandemic — you were the bright spot in an otherwise incredibly challenging year.

To Bailey and Abby, you’re still the big sisters I never had, and I’m so grateful for your friendship and mentorship. While I wasn’t totally sure about this cult-like group of sports writers, seeing how passionate you both were about this place pushed me to jump in head first, picking up countless women’s gymnastics stories and conferencing for a beat.

To Lane, thank you for showing me what a strong woman looks like in this industry. You told me last year that it was my job to continue on that legacy, and I can only hope I made you proud. 

To Kent, I never thought I’d be friends with someone from Black River, but I guess hometown ties have a way of bringing people together. Thank you for the countless hours you put into making my dub hoops stories better, and always being ready to ask the most inappropriate questions possible. I’ll see you at Tulip Time.

But beyond just the casual interactions with upperclassmen, my love for the people of this place pushed me beyond what I thought I was capable of, and toward beat writing. Being on a beat is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done, and doing it with some of my closest friends has been incredible. Forming a bond with your beat mates through a grueling three, four or five months is unparalleled.

To Lane, Nick and Jared, covering a softball season without writing about a single home game was the most absurd experience ever. Our frantic group texts after we found out we’d written First Pitch for nothing are forever saved in my phone.

To Nick, Max and Lily, covering dub hoops during the pandemic was the craziest thing we could’ve done. Churning out content without games, dealing with no availability and spending less than 48 hours in Indy was chaos — and there’s no one I’d rather have done it with.

To Jack and Mark, I never thought my second year on dub hoops could be more chaotic than my first, but somehow you made it possible. A three-person beat is incredibly challenging, but you both continuously pushed me to be a better writer and beat member.

To Paul, Jack and Lindsay, you’ve turned the little time we’ve spent together this moops season into my favorite adventures with The Daily. From the Brooklyn Nets practice court to the T-Rex in Minnesota, I can only imagine what the rest of this season has in store.

That being said, the people that truly make The Daily so special is my own senior class. We’ve all been fired one too many times to still be hanging around this place. But even when we’re washed, I know we’ll be around, soaking up all the limited time remaining because The Daily just means that much.

To Lily, there are no words to describe how important our friendship is to me. Who knew a chance dinner at Piada would bring me one of my best friends and keep me coming back to this place for four more years? 

To Jared, Nick, Spencer, Josh and Brandon, you’ll always be the scary freshmen boys I tried so hard to impress, and that Lily and I so desperately wanted to be friends with.

For all those that have come after me — Big Man John, Big Tex, Joey, Charlie, Lindsay, Liza, Lys, Remi, Zain, Cole, Noah, Taylor, Rehka, Caroline, Jack, Sam and many more — you’re all going to do big things. But I’ll leave you with this one piece of advice. Keep pouring into this place, because it’ll keep pouring into you. 

Soon, I’ll regale the sports section with the tales I’ve collected over four years in my own final Sunday sports meeting. Until then, I can only hope the four years I’ve spent mentally drafting this story can encapsulate just some of the magic that is The Daily and its people.