Sports broadcasting student finds niche in newsroom

by NICK ALVARADO//Sports Editor

Walking across the stage at Plains High School, a high school grad receives his diploma.

Later, that same high school graduate couldn’t decide on a major to pursue in college.

With what seemed like little time, I elected to be a history major. 

Once the first day of class came, it was nerve-wracking. I mistakenly put a Monday and Wednesday class on my schedule and I had to stay in the dorms, which wasn’t the best experience that I had.

As the first semester went by, I was still nervous throughout the semester. I had trouble making friends and couldn’t find a niche or group to get involved with on campus.

Also, at the time, I created a new Facebook page called “The Roy Report.” I always was on it during high school games to provide updates.

More on the page a little later.

As a freshman who never experienced finals, it was more nerve-wracking to experience. After all the final exams I’ve taken, it wasn’t that bad, since I studied.

As the first semester wrapped up, I will never forget one of my favorite advisors, Dr. Laura Graves. She is a sweet teacher and helped me out getting the classes that I needed for my history major.

As the second semester started, I felt that I had the college thing figured out, and it was more enjoyable. As time went on, I’m was starting to get out of my shell of nerves and talk to people. Needless to say, I was still struggling with people and finding a group to get in. As I was heading to my English 1302 class one day, I was approached for an interview by two girls from the campus paper, Jenny and Nicole. My interest spiked at that time when they said “campus paper,” since I was into the field of media. To this day, I still remember the question they asked me for the ‘Man on the Street’ section. Nicole asked, “If you could relive one day in your life, what would it be?”

As I passed more of my classes, I started to gain confidence in my classes and grades. With the second semester under my belt, I was ready to be done in a couple of semesters.

Little did I know, I was wrong. For the first time, I struggled in two classes that were a part of my major, which was embarrassing. My confidence level was shot that semester.

Remember when I said that I would be talking about my Facebook page that I created? It’s that time to talk about it.

During that semester, I was working on building up my page and creating an audience. During that time, I had zero journalistic skills, no skills to build up a page or any ideas on how to make the page “big.” I felt more attached to the page and balancing out school at the same time. So, if you happen to do this, don’t do it. Another thing was that I was tired of being quiet. I really wanted to talk to somebody and make new friends. I only had my family, sports friends that I would always see and hold a conversation with at games, my girlfriend at the time from Andrews, who taught me to look out for other people no matter what, and my church friends back in Plains, who I always had deep conversations with.

As the semester ended, I was at an all-time low in my college career, struggling in two courses. As I continued to think about my future, my mother had a suggestion that I switch majors. After the long and hard-thinking throughout the last week, I decided to change my major to sports broadcasting.

At that point, I met the man, the myth, the legend, Charlie Ehrenfeld.

I remember the first year being on the newspaper staff, writing two articles my very first issue in the spring of 2015, Twirlgate at the Australian Open and a story on the SPC men’s and women’s indoor track teams. As the semester went by, I learned a lot from Charlie about my writing skills. As fast as the semester went by, it was fun.

Also, during that semester, I also had the opportunity to work camera at the SPC basketball games. As much as I enjoyed the experience, I also learned a lot from Billy Alonzo and Jay Hoes. I had the great experience to watch an ESPN broadcast from the Texas Tech-Oklahoma men’s basketball game on Feb. 21, 2015.

During the summer of 2015, I worked at the Yoakum County Golf Course, learned ways to build up my page, and build up my writing. For me, it was a well-spent summer full of learning the journalistic ways.

The fall 2015 semester came, and it was another enjoyable one. As I started to learn, being enrolled in Publications class gives you some job opportunities that may come up.

A great experience that came around was freelance writing for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Alongside working with the high school sports editor at the time, Phil Terrigno, I learned a lot about writing and the style a writer uses for sports, which I still do apply to this day.

Another experience that I got to enjoy was being an editor on the Plainsman Press staff for the first time. As the editors say, “it’s a fun experience.” It is. The bulk of the fun times that I had was from the time being an editor.

The spring of 2015 brought a new beginning and some big events that impacted my life. During the winter break, I launched the first website for “The Roy Report,” and it was a big hit. Despite fans flocking to another page for the area’s scores, I had the support of the entire state, and it never stopped me from believing about my page.

With the spring semester in full swing, more opportunities came, with me having the chance to cover the boys UIL state basketball tournament in San Antonio. As much as I was excited, the most was made in the opportunity with being able to sit courtside, covering the games and attending the press conferences and asking questions to coaches.

During my time in San Antonio, I also got to cover a baseball game in Sabinal, which is one hour from San Antonio on Highway 90. Being able to travel in the San Antonio area, seeing the scenery and covering statewide high school sports was a blessing to me, and I still do it to this day.

The biggest event that has personally impacted my journalism career was the TIPA competition in Dallas. Honestly, I did not expect much, since I was a newbie in the competition.

Going into my event, I kept it cool with the jangling nerves that I had, as I sat right beside the sports editor at the time, Joshua Ramirez. The format was covering a live event and writing about it in a certain amount of time.

After the competition, I seemed relieved that the competition was over and didn’t expect much from the judges in the awards.

During the awards ceremony that next morning, I listened to the winners that were named, until I heard my name. I was in disbelief. But surely enough, I placed first in radio sports writing. Not only did I place first, I also received second place in sports news writing at TCCJA.

Winning the two awards was delightful to me, as it showed my true potential in what I can do.

This semester, the time has no sense of slowing down. I’m wrapping up my time at SPC. Being the sports editor for a short time has been fun, but “all good things must come to an end.”

There have been some friends who have impacted my life throughout my time in CM130. Jenny has always supported me in what I have done throughout my decisions. Sara always takes the easy route to things and tells you the truth bluntly, and Dominick and Steven provide some company when you need it.

The better thing about the newsroom is that no matter what, you are a part of one big happy newspaper family. You are a part of something special on campus that you don’t get to experience anywhere else.

To the new writers and photographers on the staff, enjoy the class while you are in it, because it could be a new opportunity coming up on the horizon. Most importantly, “CM 130 can change your life if you let it,” because it most certainly changed mine.

As for me, I will be transferring to West Texas A&M to further my education in electronic media and broadcasting. I’m excited for the road ahead and what it could mean for the future.

I will still be the main administrator for the Facebook page and now website, The Roy Report. I encourage people to share the page and to spread the word. After all, it’s soon to be the biggest Texas high school sports media source.

Charlie gives you the opportunity to experience some things that are cool and life-changing. If anyone is interested in joining the staff while reading this, give him a visit, because that one visit could change your future for the good. Charlie has also taught me a lot, from the writing, editing and layout, and advice. Without him, I would probably not be the person who would have experienced writing for a major newspaper, nor get to have experienced the cool things that I experienced throughout my years.

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