Courtesy of Jack Kingsley.

Position(s): 2021 Senior Sports Editor, 2019-20 Daily Sports Writer

Section(s): Sports

Semesters at The Daily: 7

I never planned on writing for The Daily. I had written and edited for my school paper in high school, but I never really enjoyed it. At one point, I stopped showing up for so long my friend and senior editor told me I needed to come in more or I would be “fired.” It was something to put on my college application, nothing more. 

But in my first three weeks at the University of Michigan, I applied to countless clubs and got rejected from all of them — I didn’t really know anyone outside of the few friends I made in my hall. I talked to my parents almost every day. I felt isolated and alone.

Luckily, there was one mass meeting for The Daily left, and my mom suggested I go. She knew about The Daily because her brother (my uncle) was on staff back in the day and had a great experience. So I went and joined the Sports section, and picked up a shadow story at my first Sunday meeting. After that, I didn’t write for the rest of the semester.

I’m still not really sure why I did that. Maybe it was because I didn’t really like to write; I never had in the past. Maybe it was because I didn’t feel like I was needed, and they would just find someone else to cover non-revenue sports. Maybe it was because I was too shy to pick up another story.

Not getting more involved in my first semester is easily the biggest regret of my time here. Luckily, at the start of my second semester, I had more motivation to actually do something on campus. So I picked up a story at the first meeting and was hooked. I wrote nearly every weekend that semester, with my sights set on a beat the next year. 

From there, I went on to cover women’s basketball, hockey and men’s basketball and loved every one of them. I’ve gone to great places with great people and barely remember the games I covered — if there even was one. I’ve walked into a Denny’s wearing a blazer and bathing suit and made my brother do the same thing three years later.

Sure, I missed out on multiple NCAA tournaments and a few road trips due to COVID-19, and maybe a fourth beat after not writing my first semester, and I could sit here and say that I want that first semester back, or I want that COVID year back. 

But I truly wouldn’t change a thing. Had I gotten more involved my first semester, I might not have covered dub hoops with two awesome beatmates. Had it not been for COVID, I wouldn’t have gotten to go on the best/worst road trip in Daily history. I’ve found a home on campus, a place where there’s always someone to talk to and everyone has my back, no matter what.

When I joined the Daily, I thought that covering sports would be the best part. And while I still can’t believe that people actually let me do this job every time I look down on an empty arena, over the last three years I’ve learned that sports aren’t the reason why everyone keeps coming back and never wants to leave. It’s the people.

And now, the part where I thank those people: 

Kent and Brendan, you guys made dub hoops fun. Thank you for asking all of those ridiculous questions, making that sandwich and finally giving in and driving to the chair. In all seriousness though, dub hoops is what truly got me invested in The Daily, and covering the team with you two was the main reason why. 

Lane, Brendan and Josh, it would’ve been awesome to cover hockey with you guys in a normal year, but I’m glad we got to do it when we did. Between our weekly chats while waiting for Mel to hop on the Zoom, all of the hilarious quotes and everything that happened on that Fargo trip, we definitely made the most of it. Fargo is a memory I’ll never forget for the rest of my life. 

Spencer, Nick and Josh, I can’t wait for the rest of the basketball season. We’re gonna have a good one.

Jared and Nick, it’s been crazy seeing you guys grow over the past few years. I have no doubt you’re gonna do a great job as MSEs.

Max, Ethan and Theo, thank you guys for giving me almost every opportunity I’ve had at The Daily and helping me become a better writer along the way. I wouldn’t be where I am now without you guys.

To the rest of the seniors — Daniel, Lily, Drew, Jacob, Abby, Aidan, Alex, Avi, Nick, Jack and anyone I’m forgetting — I’ve loved doing this with you guys. Each of you made an impact on this place and helped make it so meaningful to all of us.

To the rest of the juniors — Abbie, Brandon, Jack, Lily, Max, Matthew, Sam, Steel and anyone I forgot — the section’s in good hands with you guys. And if you ever need any advice, I’m still here for a semester.

To the underclassmen, cherish every moment you have at 420 Maynard. It goes by too fast.

To everyone else who came before me — Mike, Laney, Ben, Anna, Connor, Teddy, Rian, Aria, Tien, Kopnick, Bailey, Molly, Rohan, Akul — thank you for helping me become a better writer, making The Daily always feel welcoming and building the great culture we have here. 

Noah, I’m glad you’ve already gotten so involved with The Daily. Keep it up and you’re gonna be better than me, if that’s saying much. I can’t wait to see what you do here.

Mom, thanks for pushing me to go to that meeting. Dad, thanks for being the podcast’s only listener. Uncle Jeff, thanks for paving the way and telling me stories.

So many of my best college memories happened because of The Daily, with all of you guys. Hopefully, I still have a few more left.