Writer cherishes time at Texan

SarahBeth

Sara Beth Purdy covered Longhorns men’s swimming and diving (fall 2010), softball (spring 2011 and 2012), women’s soccer (fall 2011), volleyball (fall 2012) and baseball (spring 2013).

Sara Beth Purdy

Editor's note: A 30 column is a chance for departing permanent staff to say farewell and reflect on their time spent in The Daily Texan’s basement office. The term comes from the old typesetting mark (-30-) to denote the end of a line.

About three years ago, a friend challenged me to try out for the Texan. He had seen an ad seeking applicants and pushed me to give it a shot. Not being a journalism major, I dismissed the idea but his challenge quickly turned into a dare. I quickly put together an article about Justin Tucker and one of his many game-winning kicks and a week later I was at my first staff meeting.

That first semester, I started out on the swimming and diving beat. It was a fun one to learn on — not too many events to cover and a large range of feature topics. I even got a chance to meet Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps at the USA Swimming Grand Prix that January!

I transitioned to the softball beat the next two springs. It was my first major beat, and I remember feeling proud that I could be trusted with one of the major sports. It was incredible watching them play. They are truly a talented set of athletes.

This past fall I finally got a chance to write about volleyball, a team I had been watching from the sidelines for years. As a sports writer, it is easier, and more enjoyable, to write an article about a winning team, and I was given plenty of opportunities to do that. I concluded the season with a trip to Louisville to watch them win the national championship — the highlight of my time at the Texan.

My final beat at the Texan was baseball. I remember how excited I was when Christian, my editor, told me that I was going to cover baseball this spring. Baseball is by far my favorite sport and I had been itching for that assignment since I started.

Even though the baseball team has not been as successful as desired, it has certainly been a good experience. Texas head coach Augie Garrido is a character in an interview and always made me laugh.

I want to thank everyone I came into contact with at the Texan. Even though I didn’t share your major or your class schedule, you incorporated me into a community that I will never forget.

Thank you to Christian and Trey, who coached me through these last two semesters as a permanent staff member and who gave me the opportunity to cover both the baseball team and the national championship volleyball team. I truly learned a lot, and this has been one of my favorite years at the Texan.

I also want to thank the other sports editors over the past three years: Nick, Dan, Will and Sameer. Thank you for giving me a chance and helping me to improve! Thank you to Chris, Rachel, Peter, Garrett and Wes for being fabulous co-beat writers! Those games in the press box were some of my favorite times! 

Looking back on the week I was hired, I am incredibly thankful that I was given this opportunity. I have learned so much and have enhanced my writing ability since I started. Plus, being at the Texan gave me the perfect excuse to spend all of my time watching sports rather than doing my homework!

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